Black Clam

Scientific Name: Arctica islandica

Phylum: Mollusca

Class: Bivalvia

Description: Black clam has smooth external bivalve shell, and are ovoid in shape, black in color.

Distribution: They are found from Newfoundland to Cape Cod, and in deep water in North Carolina . Black clam lives mainly in Sub-tidal zone to 150m, but a common beach shell from Cape Cod north.

Locomotion: Sessile – dig themselves into sand bottoms using a hatchet-shaped foot, and almost completely submerged.

Food gathering/digestion: Filter feeders – will ingest plankton and non-living organic matter. Water is driven from inhalant to exhalent parts of mantle cavity by cilia. Feeding material is sorted by size and rejected particles fall off gill edges into mantle cavity as pseudo-feces.

Gas Exchange: Mantle cavity allows ctenidia to develop a greatly enlarger surface area, which serves as both gas exchange and feeding.

Reproduction: Sexual – external fertilization in response to environmental triggers (increased temperature and food). Larvae hatch and are planktonic for the first 3-4 weeks then settle. Once attached, they metamorphose into juveniles.

Interesting Facts: Little use commercially, those it is edible.