The elongate shape and the heavy radial sculpturing of the shell
help to distinguish the false angelwing from a similar native
species (Petricola carditoides), which has fine radial sculpturing
and a rounder shell shape. The false angel wing can reach a width
of 25 to 80 mm. It ranges from the lower intertidal zone down
to depths of 8 meters. False angel wing colors range from white
to a creamy yellow.
Habitat: The false angel wing bores into soft sediments
(e.g., heavy mud, clay and peat) of bays and estuaries. In contrast,
the similar native species nestles in rock crevices and in the
abandoned holes formed by piddocks along the open coast.
Origin: East Coast of North America.
Invaded Areas: San Francisco Bay, Newport Bay (Southern
California), Willapa Bay (Washington); Europe.
Concerns: False angelwings compete with native suspension-feeding
species for food, and with other boring organisms (e.g., native
estuarine piddocks such as Zirfaea pilsbryi) for space. This species
was first discovered in San Francisco Bay in 1927, introduced
by shipping or oyster culturing, and may still be present there.