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Phylum Mollusca > Class Bivalvia > Family Arcidae
Anadara sp.
Family Arcidae
updated May 2020
if you learn only 3 things about them ...
It is an ingredient in laksa and char kuay teow, favourite local dishes.
Its body is red because it has haemoglobin just like us.
It can cause cholera, hepatitis A and food poisoning.

Where seen?
This robust little clam is still commonly seen on some parts of our Northern shores, particularly on silty sand.
'See-hum' is what locals call it. They are now no longer as common as they used to be in the past. Those sold in our markets and restaurants come mostly from Malaysia.

Features: 3-4cm. The two-part shell is heavy, and may be quite spherical. The surface is ribbed with small, rounded beads on the ribs.
The animal's body is usually orange or reddish. So it is sometimes also called the Blood cockle. This is due to the presence of haemoglobin, the same substance that colours our own blood red too. Haemoglobin assists in transporting oxygen within the body and may help the clams live in the oxygen-poor habitats.

Living in a clam:
The tiny Pea crab (Pinnotheres sp.) is sometimes found living inside these bivalves. The crab not only gains shelter but also eats some of the food gathered by the host clam.

Changi, Jun 05

Seletar, Jun 02

Tanah Merah, Apr 05
Human uses: 'See-hum' is relished in many local favourites such as char kway teow and laksa. However, they may be affected by red tide and other harmful algal blooms. They are also linked to cholera, hepatitis A and dysenteric shellfish poisoning. 'See-ham' is farmed in some places for sale as seafood. In Malaysia, it is a major mollusc that is marketed with an annual catch exceeding 75,000 metric tons.

'See-ham' on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Links References
  • Tan Siong Kiat and Henrietta P. M. Woo, 2010 Preliminary Checklist of The Molluscs of Singapore (pdf), Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore.
  • Tan, K. S. & L. M. Chou, 2000. A Guide to the Common Seashells of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 160 pp.
  • Abbott, R. Tucker, 1991. Seashells of South East Asia. Graham Brash, Singapore. 145 pp.
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