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Mya arenaria   Linnaeus, 1758

softshell clam
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Classification Common names | Synonyms | CoL | ITIS | WoRMS

Bivalvia | Myoida | Myidae

Main reference References | Biblio | Coordinator | Collaborators

Harvey-Clark, C. 1997. (Ref. 7726)

Size / Weight / Age

Max length : 10.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 7726); max. reported age: 8 years (Ref. 2823)


Benthic; brackish; depth range 0 - 192 m (Ref. 78574), usually 0 - 25 m (Ref. 75831)

Climate / Range

Temperate, preferred 9°C (Ref. 107945); 56°N - 35°N, 76°E - 57°W (Ref. 113928)

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Northwest Atlantic from Nova Scotia to Virginia, North Sea and European waters including the Black, Baltic, Wadden, White and Mediterranean seas, and northeast Pacific from San Francisco to Alaska.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Minimum depth from Ref. 101279. Maximum depth recorded is 329 m (Ref. 101279). Lives in burrows in sand, mud, sandy mud and sandy gravels from the mid shore to the shallow sublittoral, sometimes to a depth of 192 m (Ref. 78574). Commonly found in estuarine areas, buried in substrate 10 to 20 cm deep (Ref. 95344). In the Vainameri (north-eastern Baltic Sea), abundant in silty substrate (Ref. 95753). Deposit/filter feeders (Ref. 95728). Identified as an ecologically important benthic species of the Baltic Sea, mainly as part of the food base of fishes and its contribution to biofiltration and biosedimentation processes (Ref. 95774). A microvore that feeds on organic detritus (Ref. 96352). Found both in intertidal mudflat and estuary (Ref. 2823). Members of the class Bivalvia are mostly gonochoric, some are protandric hermaphrodites. Life cycle: Embryos develop into free-swimming trocophore larvae, succeeded by the bivalve veliger, resembling a miniature clam (Ref. 833).

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 114614)


CITES status (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

Human uses

Fisheries: commercial
FAO(Aquaculture: production; fisheries: production) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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 (39 of 100)
Price category (Ref. 80766)