Bivalvia | Venerida
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Benthic; depth range 0 - 20 m. Tropical; 40°N - 15°N, 99°W - 65°W
Western Central Atlantic.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cmCommon length : 15.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 344)
Shell thick, more inflated than in Mercenaria mercenaria, ovate-trigonal. Sculpture of irregular lines, more separated than in M. mercenaria. Lines never absent in middle of valve. Lunule as long as wide. Colour: dull white to grey, internally sometimes stained with purple.
One of the most commercially exploited species in the area. Species is harvested by digging in shallow water. Also collected by recreational fishermen by "treading" (probing with bare feet), and in deeper water by bull rakes and clam tongs. Mechanical harvesting not permitted in Florida. Species is high in protein and virtually fat-free. This species may form hybrids with individuals of M. mercenaria in the southeastern USA (Ref. 344). Combination depth range: min from literature, max from estimate. Lives from the intertidal to the shallow subtidal, in moderately hard sandy bottoms or in sandy mud. Sometimes in close associations with seagrass beds and algae. Rarely found in the surf zone (Ref. 344).
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.
Leal, J.H. 2003. (Ref. 344)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 126983)
CITES status (Ref. 108899)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: highly commercial
| FishSource |
Estimates of some properties based on models
High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (K=0.64).
): 23.5 - 28.1, mean 27.2 (based on 655 cells).
Low vulnerability (23 of 100).