Anomiidae is a family of saltwater clams, marine bivalve molluscs related to scallops and oysters, and known as anomiids. It contains seven genera.

Anomia ephippium.jpg
Two beach-worn shells of Anomia ephippium
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Bivalvia
Order: Pectinida
Superfamily: Anomioidea
Family: Anomiidae
Rafinesque, 1815
Genera and species

7 genera, see text

The family is known by several common names, including jingle shells, mermaid's toenails, and saddle oysters.


Anomiids have extremely thin, translucent, paper-like shells. There is often a hole in the lower shell, caused by growth of the shell around the byssus. The shell follows the shape of the object it lies on - usually a rock or a large shell of another creature.


The flesh of members of this family is unpleasantly bitter and is not eaten. However, industrial uses of the shell include manufacture into, or as part of, glue, chalk, paint, shellac and solder. Capiz shells, the shells of Placuna placenta, the windowpane oyster, are made into decorative objects such as lampshades, in Asia.

Genera and speciesEdit

The following genera and species are recognised by the World Register of Marine Species: [1]


  1. ^ Gofas, Serge (2012). "Anomiidae". WoRMS. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2012-04-23.