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Temporal range: 225.0–0.0 Ma
Triassic to Recent
File:Zelithophaga truncata.jpg
One valve of a shell of Lithophaga truncata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Bivalvia
Subclass: Pteriomorphia
Order: Mytiloida
Family: Mytilidae
Genus: Lithophaga
Röding, 1798

See text


Lithophaga, the date mussels, are a genus of medium-sized marine bivalve molluscs in the family Mytilidae. Some of the earliest fossil Lithophaga shells have been found in Mesozoic rocks from the Alps and from Vancouver Island,[2] [3]

The shells of species in this genus are long and narrow with parallel sides. The animals bore into stone or coral rock with the help of pallial gland secretions,[4] hence the systematic name Lithophaga, which means "stone-eater". Their club-shaped borings are given the trace fossil name Gastrochaenolites.[3]


Species within the genus Lithophaga include:


  1. Gofas, Serge (2004). "Lithophaga Röding, 1798". World Register of Marine Species. 
  2. Ludvigsen, Rolf & Beard, Graham. 1997. West Coast Fossils: A Guide to the Ancient Life of Vancouver Island. pg. 102
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kleemann, K.H., 1994. Mytilid bivalve Lithophaga in Upper Triassic coral Pamiroseris from Zlambach Beds compared with Cretaceous Lithophaga alpina. Facies 30, 151-154.
  4. "integument (mollusks)."Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica 2006 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD