You can sponsor this page

Arctica islandica   (Linnaeus, 1767)

Ocean quahog

Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2100
This map was computer-generated and has not yet been reviewed.
Arctica islandica  AquaMaps  Data sources: GBIF OBIS
Upload your photos 
| All pictures | Google image |
Image of Arctica islandica (Ocean quahog)
Arctica islandica
Picture by Harvey-Clark, Chris

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | CoL | ITIS | WoRMS

Bivalvia | Venerida | Arcticidae

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Benthic; depth range 0 - 482 m (Ref. 88171).  Temperate, preferred 7°C (Ref. 107945); 77°N - 35°N, 120°W - 45°E

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Northern Atlantic and the Arctic: from Bay of Cadiz Spain, north to Iceland, and from Cape Hatteras in North Carolina, USA to the Canadian Arctic. Subtropical to polar.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 2 - 4.1 cm Max length : 13.0 cm SHL male/unsexed; (Ref. 88171); common length : 7.6 cm SHL male/unsexed; (Ref. 360)

Short description Morphology

Shell: moderately swollen, thick and robust valves, almost circular, equivalved and inequilateral; has a thick dark brown to blackish periostracum; sculpture consists of thin concentric grooves; well-developed external ligament, reaching the end of the posterior margin of the valve, posterior to the umbones; hinge is heterodont, right and left valves each has three cardinal teeth, anterior and posterior lateral teeth; inside the valves are two slightly different muscle scars (dimyarian, anisomyarian), linked by a continuous pallial line (integropalliate), without a sinus; crossed-lamellae structure. Body: pair of gills each consists of two series of lamellae extensively linked by interlamellar junctions (eulamellibranch); foot is large and the two mantle lobes fuse to form two stout siphons.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Minimum depth from Ref. 7726. Maximum shell height at 13 cm (anterior-posterior: from the whorl to opposite shell edge) in the Northeast Atlantic. Considered one of the slowest growing clam species in the world and extremely long-lived with an age record of 374 years. As an endobenthic species, population threats include anthropogenic factors such as mechanical damage, oxygen deficiency/eutrophication, unintentional habitat dislocation, temperature and osmotic stress brought by climate change, and, on a major scale, increased trawl fishery in the North Atlantic (Ref. 88171).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

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.

Main reference References | Coordinator | Collaborators

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

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 126983)

CITES status (Ref. 108899)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

Human uses

Fisheries: commercial
FAO - Fisheries: landings, species profile | FishSource | Sea Around Us


Internet sources

BHL | BOLD Systems | CISTI | DiscoverLife | FAO(Fisheries: species profile; publication : search) | Fishipedia | GenBank (genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | Gomexsi | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | PubMed | Tree of Life | Wikipedia (Go, Search) | Zoological Record

Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 6.6 - 10.9, mean 9.8 (based on 204 cells).
Resilience (Ref. 69278): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.02-0.2; tm=4.5).
Prior r = 0.47, 95% CL = 0.31 - 0.70, Based on 1 stock assessment.
Vulnerability (Ref. 71543): High vulnerability (61 of 100).
Price category (Ref. 80766): Low.
Nutrients: Calcium = 149 [71, 228] mg/100g; Iron = 8.53 [1.95, 15.11] mg/100g; Protein = 9.88 [8.64, 11.12] %; Omega3 = 0.313 [0.202, 0.423] g/100g; Selenium = 61 [50, 72] μg/100g; VitaminA = 0 μg/100g; Zinc = 2.04 [0.56, 3.51] mg/100g (wet weight).