An active colorful bivalve that swims around the aquarium in spasmodic jerks. Has sapphire blue eye spots on its frilled mantle. Available April through November. Size 4-6 cm.
Summer Each: $9.50
Summer Dozen: $74.50
Winter Each: $13.00
M-641 BLOOD CLAM, Noetia ponderosa or Anadara ovalis
Their thick black shells and red blood, have proven to be a rich source of invertebrate hemoglobin.
M-650 PEN SHELL, Atrina rigida, or A. serrata
A large, brown fan-shaped bivalve that anchors itself down into the sand with an enormous tuft of silk byssus threads. Historians suggest that the “Golden Fleece” was made from Pen Shell silk. This triangular clam, which is normally three-quarters buried, uses the long fingerlike foot to shove bits of broken shell and gravel away from its orange mantle. Many specimens contain commensal crabs, Pinnotheres maculatus. Size: 12-20 cm.
It is an example of a truly estuarine animal, living by the millions in the upper reaches of southern rivers, where the salinity averages five parts per thousand or less. While not recommended for the aquarium, they make excellent food for other animals, surviving for days in higher strength sea water. Prehistoric Indians subsisted on this clam. Their middens remain in the woods and marshes two thousand years later. Size: 5-9 cm.
The oyster of seafood fame, excellent with hot sauce and beer. It can also be used to provide natural cover for other organisms. The shells are formed of calcite rather than aragonite. It exhibits pronounced growth ridges. Oysters may change sex with environmental fluctuations, and have been used extensively in embryology. Size: 4-8 cm.
Per 50: $73.50
M-680 SURF CLAM, Spisula solidissima
A thin-shelled, large clam with good burrowing action. Size: 3-10 cm.
It anchors itself to the substratum with an elaborate network of byssus threads, producing a “scalp” which prevents erosion. These interwoven mats of partially buried mussels are crawling with annelids and other burrowing organisms. Size: 3-5 cm.
It logs with lime-coated burrows, weakening the structure until it collapses. These highly modified, elongated clams enter the wood in their larval stages, and bore away with their tiny, white shells. They remain imprisoned, receiving nutrients by pumping and discharging water through their siphon tubes, receiving no nourishment from the wood itself. Bankia can be readily cultured in the laboratory. Per collection shipped in situ.
Per collection: $59.00
M-740 SCULPTURED VENUS CLAM, Chione cancellata
A small, white clam, with an elaborate ridged shell, that dwells on shelly sand bars. Makes excellent live food for gastropods and fish. Size: 3 cm.
This species is found attached to gorgonians. Availability is somewhat sporadic. Size: 4-6cm
It has heavy ribbed, heart-shaped shell, mottled brown and purple. When removed from the water, it will violently catapult itself about with its pointed foot, a ridiculous sight resembling a great tongue thrust out of a wide grinning mouth. Size 8-12 cm.
M-760 COQUINA, Donax variabilis
These are delightful little clams that live a precarious existence at the edge of the wave-swept, exposed outer beaches, rapidly burrowing and feeding between incoming and outgoing waves. Their highly polished shells come in a multitude of colors, greens, reds, oranges, purples, and consequently they are often called “butterfly shells.” People harvest them by the thousands to make a delicious broth. When placed in a dish of sand they immediately extend their foot and long double siphon and pull themselves down into the sand with spasmodic jerks. Size 1-2.5 cm. Most abundant in summer months.
Per 50: $67.50
Be they “cherry stones,” “littlenecks,” or “chowders,” are the common thick shell clams prized by seafood lovers, and used by biologists and neurophysiologists. Of all the bivalves, they survive the longest with minimal care and occasional feeding. This Gulf species is generally much larger than the closely related Atlantic form, but not as abundant nor as tasty. Size 8-15 cm.
M-790 SUN RAY VENUS CLAM, Macrocallista nimbosa
It has a beautiful highly polished salmon colored shell with radial markings. They burrow into the substrate, and survive well in a sand aquarium. Size: 8-1 cm.
M-791 FLAME SCALLOP SHELL, Lima scabra
Eye-catching tropical bivalve with a gorgeous red mantle. Size 4-6 cm.
M-1015 TURKEY WING CLAM , Arca zebra
This species helps to provide structure for commensal organisms and thus create habitat for other species.