bivalves text index | photo index
Phylum Mollusca > Class Bivalvia
Razor clams
Family Solenidae
updated Oct 2016
if you learn only 3 things about them ...
On one end is the long siphon, and the other a strong muscular foot.
The thin flexible shell allows it to slip easily into the sand.
They are rapid burrowers. Let's put this one down and see how fast it can burrow.

Where seen? These almost cylindrical clams can move surprisingly quickly and are rarely seen as they are usually buried in the sand. They are sometimes seen above ground on the undisturbed sandy shores near seagrass areas on our northern shores. They are adapted for burrowing deeply in soft bottoms.

Built for digging: 1.5-5cm long. The razor clam is a strong and quick burrower. The somewhat rectangular and cylindrical two-part shell is thin, narrow and smooth, allowing the animal to slip easily through the sand. On one end of the shell emerges a strong foot that it uses to burrow quickly into wet sand. On the other end a long siphon sticks out to the surface to breathe and feed. The siphon breaks easily when the animal is disturbed. In this way, the animal probably avoids being dragged out of the sand by its siphon.

What do they eat? Like other bivalves, razor clams are filter feeders. The buried clam sticks its long siphon out to the surface. When submerged, it sucks in a current of water through the siphon. It uses its enlarged gills to sieve food particles out of this current.

Razor clam (Solen brevisiima)
Chek Jawa, Jan 04

Siphon of a large buried razor clam?
Changi, Jul 11
Human uses: Larger razor shells are edible and are collected as food. Like other filter-feeding clams, however, razor clams may be affected by red tide and other harmful algal blooms. Such clams can then be harmful to eat.

Pasir Ris Park, Dec 09
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.

Pasir Ris, Dec 11

Bulbous tip of the muscular foot.

Razor clams on Singapore shores

Photos of Razor clams for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Family Solenidae recorded for Singapore
from Tan Siong Kiat and Henrietta P. M. Woo, 2010 Preliminary Checklist of The Molluscs of Singapore.

  Family Solenidae
  Solen brevissimus
Solen delesserti
Solen linearis
Solen pseudolinearis
Solen vagina


FREE photos from wildsingapore tagged with Solenidae. Make your own badge here.
links | references | about | email Ria
Spot errors? Have a question? Want to share your sightings? email Ria I'll be glad to hear from you!
wildfactsheets website©ria tan 2008