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Phylum Mollusca > Class Bivalvia
Venus clams
Family Veneridae
updated Oct 2016
if you learn only 3 things about them ...
Many venus clam species are edible.
However, don't eat wild clams as some may make you ill.
They are eaten by snails that bore a hole in their shell. See if you can find such a shell?

Where seen?
Another seafood favourite, in Singapore, these clams are also called 'la-la'. Venus clams are still commonly seen on some of our shores, in sandy and rocky areas near seagrasses and coral rubble.

What are venus clams? Venus clams belong to the Family Veneridae. There are more than 400 known species in this family with some of the most colourful of bivalves. Many are edible.

Features: 3-4cm. The two-part shells are thick. Some have ridges or various patterns. They are usually buried just beneath the surface. The fine ridges on their shells to help them stay buried. Clams in this and related families, have a folded gill structure that is well developed for filtering out tiny food particles. The Gladys Archerd Shell Collection website has a drawing of this complex filter.

Despite their thick hard shells they are still preyed upon by predators such as moon snails, drills, crabs and shorebirds.

What do they eat?
Like many other bivalves, venus clams are filter feeders. They lie buried in the sand and extend their siphons to the surface at high tide. They use their siphons to suck in water and filter out microscopic food. The water also brings fresh oxygen to the animal.

Human uses: Many of the commercially important clams are venus clams. Some are also used as fish bait. Venus clams are among the favourite seafood of people everywhere. Like other filter-feeding clams, however, venus clams may be affected by red tide and other harmful algal blooms. Such clams can then be harmful to eat.

Status and threats: None of our venus clams are listed among the threatened animals of Singapore. However, like other creatures of the intertidal zone, they are affected by human activities such as reclamation and pollution. Trampling by careless visitors and over-collection can also affect local populations of young clams.

Venus clams are still harvested.
Pulau Sekudu, Jul 03


Half buried under a stone.
Chek Jawa, Sep 02



Siphon sticking out.
Changi, Feb 02

Venus clams on Singapore shores

 


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

  Venus clams seen awaiting identification
Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of display.
  Bean-shaped venus clam
Ribbed venus clam
White venus clams

  Family Veneridae
 

Anomalocardia squamosa
Anomalocardia malonei

Antigona lamellaris

Bassina foliacea

Callista chinensis

Circe scripta
(Script venus clam)
Circe tumefacta

Clementia papyracea

Dosinia cretacea
Dosinia exasperata
Dosinia juvenilis
Dosinia laminata
Dosinia trigona=^Costellipitar madecassinus

Gafrarium dispar
(Discrepant venus clam)
Gafrarium divaricatum
(Forked venus clam)
Gafrarium pectinatum
Gafrarium tumidum=^Gafrarium pectinatum
(Tumid venus clam)

Irus irus

Marcia hiantina
Marcia flammea
Marcia japonica

Meretrix lusoria
Meretrix meretrix
(Meretrix venus clam)

Paphia alapapilionis=^Paphia rotundata (Butterfly venus clam)
Paphia gallus=^Protapes gallus
Paphia rotundata
Paphia sinuosa
Paphia textile
(Textile venus clam)
Paphia undulata
(Undulating venus clam)

Periglypta ata
Periglypta crispata
Periglypta puerpera
(Youthful venus clam)

Pitar affinis
Pitar belcheri
Pitar citrinus
Pitar deshayesi
Pitar marrowae
Pitar striata

Placamen calophyllum
Placamen chloroticum
Placamen isabellina

Ruditapes philippinarum
Ruditapes variegatus

Tapes belcheri
Tapes literatus

Timoclea arakana
Timoclea chuangi
Timoclea decorata
Timoclea lionota

Venerupis chinensis=^Irus irus

Venus toreuma=^Globivenus toreuma


Acknowledgements
With grateful thanks to André Sartori from eBivalvia on EOL's Life Desk for identifying some of the Venus clams.


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.
  • Wee Y.C. and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore. National Council on the Environment. 163pp.
  • Ng, P. K. L. & Y. C. Wee, 1994. The Singapore Red Data Book: Threatened Plants and Animals of Singapore. The Nature Society (Singapore), Singapore. 343 pp.
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