Donax deltoides Click to enlarge image
Common Pipi, Donax deltoides Image: Dr Isobel Bennett
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    deltoides
    Genus
    Donax
    Order
    Veneroida
    Class
    Bivalvia
    Phylum
    Mollusca
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    5 cm

This is one of the most common molluscs encountered on Sydney's ocean beaches. The Pipi lives only a few centimetres beneath the surface and uses its muscular foot to burrow into the sand

Identification

The Common Pipi's strong, smooth shell is off white or light pink with purple inside.

Habitat

Common Pipis live on exposed sandy beaches and in intertidal areas.

Distribution

Common Pipis are found around coastal Australia.

Other behaviours and adaptations

An important part of the diet of local Aborigines, Common Pipi remains have been found in Aboriginal midden sites dating back 2,000 years.

Predators

Sea birds feed on Common Pipis and can be seen wading in the wet sand using their feet to search for them. Humans also collect Common Pipis for bait or to eat.