Asiatic Clam

Asiatic Clam (Corbicula fluminea)

Photo courtesy of DAR

Description:

  • Small, light colored bivalve (Foster et al., 2021)
  • Shell color ranges from yellow-greens, browns, and hues of purple (Foster et al. 2021)
  • Reaches a maximum size of 50 mm (Allen, 2019)

Habitat:

  • Prefer fast, flowing water because they require high levels of dissolved oxygen (Foster et al., 2021)
  • Usually found in sand and clay substrates (Foster et al., 2021)
  • Low tolerance of cold temperatures (Foster et al., 2021)

Impacts & Concern:

  • Large numbers of Asiatic Clams can clog power and water pipes (Foster et al., 2021)
  • Alter benthic substrates and compete with native species (Allen, 2019)

Introduction:

  • First seen at a farmers market in Kailua, Oʻahu in 1977 (Christennsen, 2016)
  • Thought to have been smuggled in for food (Christennsen, 2016)

Distribution in Hawaii (Christennsen, 2016):

  • Kauai: Present
  • Oʻahu: Present
  • Molokai: Not documented
  • Lanai: Not documented
  • Maui: Present
  • Big Island: Present

References:

  • Christennsen, C. (2016). Alien Freshwater Clams in the Hawaiian Islands. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers, 118, 1–4. http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/pubs-online/pdf/op118p1-4.pdf. 
  • Foster, A.M., Fuller, P., Benson, A., Constant, S., Raikow, D., Larson, J., and Fusaro, A. (2021). Corbicula fluminea (O. F. Müller, 1774): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=92
  • Allen, U. (2019). Corbicula fluminea. [Data sheet]. CABI. https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/88200