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Lunarca ovalis   (Bruguière, 1789)

blood ark

Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2100
This map was computer-generated and has not yet been reviewed.
Lunarca ovalis   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Lunarca ovalis (blood ark)
Picture by Coltro, Marcus

Classification Common names | Synonyms | CoL | ITIS | WoRMS

Bivalvia | Arcoida | Arcidae

Main reference References | Biblio | Coordinator | Collaborators

Turgeon, D.D., J.F. Quinn Jr., A.E. Bogan, E.V. Coan, F.G. Hochberg, W.G. Lyons, P.M. Mikkelsen, R.J. Neves, C.F.E. Roper, G. Rosenberg, B. Roth, A. Scheltema, F.G. Thompson, M. Vecchione and J.D. Willams. 1998. (Ref. 1667)

Size / Weight / Age

Max length : 7.6 cm SHL male/unsexed; (Ref. 78146)


Benthic; depth range 0 - 68 m (Ref. 104365)

Climate / Range

Tropical; 43°N - 35°S, 91°W - 33°W (Ref. 3446)

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Western Atlantic: from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to the West Indies and Brazil.

Short description

Equivalved, oval in shape. Size range: 2.8-7.6 cm shell length. Shell length to height ratio = 1.16 (Ref. 78148). Shell depth reaching 70% of height (Ref. 78152).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

In the USA, this species remains a potential fishery resource. From the late 1990s to early 2000s, wild stocks of this species are the target of a small-scale fishery in North Carolina (Ref. 78154) and the eastern coast of Virginia with exports primarily as ethnic food to Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. (Ref. 78152). Occurs at depths ranging from the low-tide line to 3 m (Ref. 78147). Found in an estuarine environment (Ref. 104365). Found in most soft bottoms but prefers fine sand (Ref. 78148). Is a suspension feeder, discreetly motile while feeding with its ctenidia, i.e., the comb-like structure functioning as gill in bivalve mollusks (Ref. 78149). In general, suspension feeding bivalves mainly depend on phytoplankton and detritus material for nutrition (Ref. 107088). Sexes are separate with low incidence of hermaphrodism (2.17%). Males dominant (m/f=2.68). Peak in gonadal pattern in late spring to early summer (45% ripe in May) and a minor peak in winter (21% ripe in December). Dribble spawning likely strategy to extend spawning period and increase reproductive success (Ref. 78155). Largest coordinated spawning effort in June (50% partially spent gonads) and July (64.2% partially spent gonads). Mean monthly G.I. = 0.67 significantly correlated with mean water salinity levels (t=-2.07, df=11, alpha=0.05). Low incidence of parasitic infection by digenetic trematodes (3.33%) results in castration (Ref. 78155).

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 114614)


CITES status (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; aquaculture: experimental
FAO(fisheries: production) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

More information

FAO areas
Food items
Mass conversion

Internet sources

BHL | BOLD Systems | Check for other websites | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | DiscoverLife | FAO(fisheries: ; publication : search) | GenBank (genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | ispecies | National databases | PubMed | Scirus | Sea Around Us | FishBase | Tree of Life | uBio | uBio RSS | Wikipedia (Go, Search) | Zoological Record

Estimation of some characteristics with mathematical models

Vulnerability (Ref. 71543)
Moderate vulnerability (38 of 100)
Price category (Ref. 80766)