learn only 3 things about them ...
Many venus clam species are edible.
However, don't eat wild clams as some may make you ill.
are eaten by snails that bore a hole in their shell. See
if you can find such a shell?
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
of this complex filter.
Despite their thick hard shells they are still preyed upon by predators
such as moon snails,
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
clams on Singapore shores
Veneridae recorded for Singapore
from Tan Siong
Kiat and Henrietta P. M. Woo, 2010 Preliminary Checklist of The
Molluscs of Singapore.
clams seen awaiting identification
are difficult to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped
by external features for convenience of display.
Circe scripta (Script venus
Dosinia trigona=^Costellipitar madecassinus
Gafrarium dispar (Discrepant venus clam)
Gafrarium divaricatum (Forked
Gafrarium tumidum=^Gafrarium pectinatum (Tumid venus clam)
Meretrix meretrix (Meretrix venus clam)
alapapilionis=^Paphia rotundata (Butterfly venus clam)
Paphia gallus=^Protapes gallus
Paphia textile (Textile venus clam)
Paphia undulata (Undulating venus clam)
Periglypta puerpera (Youthful venus clam)
Venerupis chinensis=^Irus irus
Venus toreuma=^Globivenus toreuma
With grateful thanks to André Sartori from eBivalvia
on EOL's Life Desk for identifying some of the Venus clams.
- 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.