Distribution: common in protected beaches in bays and
estuaries along B.C. coast.
Habitat: variety of substrates but typically occur in beaches of porous sand,
broken shell, gravel and mud; may occur in association with littleneck clam; burrow to a
maximum depth of 25 cm; planktonic larvae are dispersed by currents; adults remain in same
burrow for life.
Tidal elevation: lower third of intertidal zone; may occur to 15 m subtidal
Food: suspension feeder; mainly phytoplankton, but also zooplankton and
Predators: crabs and fishes prey on juveniles; moon snail, birds and sea stars
prey on adults.
Slow; sexually mature at 38 mm (about 3 yr.); legal size of 63
mm is reached in 5-6 yr in Strait of Georgia, 7-8 yr in Alert Bay and after 9 yr in north
Commercial, Native and sport intertidal fisheries; formerly an
important commercial species but at present accounts for less than 10% (159 t in 1986) of
commercial intertidal clam harvest; sewage pollution and paralytic shellfish poisoning
(PSP) have closed large areas of coast to harvesting.
Anon. (no date). Clams of British Columbia. Fish.
Oceans Can., leaflet: 4 p.
Bernard, F.R. 1983. Catalogue of the living bivalvia of the eastern
Pacific Ocean: Bering Strait to Cape Horn. Can. Spec. Publ. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 61: 55.
Bourne, N. 1986. Intertidal clams, p. 22-31. In G.S. Jamieson and
K. Francis [ed.] Invertebrate and marine plant resources of British Columbia. Can. Spec.
Publ. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 91.
Fitch, J.E. 1953. Common marine bivalves of California. Calif. Dep. Fish
Game Fish Bull. 90: 102 p.
Jamieson, G.S. 1986. Paralytic shellfish poisoning, p. 44-46. In
G.S. Jamieson and K. Francis [ed.] Invertebrate and marine plant resources of British
Columbia. Can. Spec. Publ. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 91.
Kozloff, E.N. 1983. Seashore life of the northern Pacific coast. Douglas
& McIntyre, Vancouver: 292-294.
Quayle, D.B. 1978. The intertidal bivalves of British Columbia. B.C.
Prov. Mus. Handb. 17: 63-64.
Quayle, D.B., and N. Bourne. 1972. The clam fisheries of British
Columbia. Fish. Res. Board Can. Bull. 179: 70 p.