As with other members of Family Myidae, this species has a shelflike or spoonlike chondrophore projecting from the hinge plate of the left valve, has two adductor muscles of similar size, and no radial ribs. Mya arenaria has a well-developed, deep pallial sinus (photo). The chondrophore (on the left valve) is well-developed, projecting as far or nearly as far as it is wide (photo). The umbones are only slightly anterior to the middle (photo). The hinge ligament is internal, attached to the chondrophore (photo). The posterior end of the shell is less smoothly rounded than is the anterior but it is not truncate. The valves may gape slightly at each end, especially the posterior end (photo). The shell is brittle and chalky white or gray outside with some light yellow or brownish periostracum and uneven concentric rings. The siphons are light brown with darker tips (photo). Length to 17 cm, most often 10 cm or less in our area.
- Rice, Tom, 1973. ; Marine Shellsof the Pacific Coast. ; Erco, Inc., Tacoma, WA. ; 102 pp. ;This little paperback book contains color photos and descriptions of chitons,shelled gastropods, bivalves, and brachiopods in the Pacific Northwest. ;The map suggests that the coverage is from Alaska to Washington. ;Tom Rice was editor of "Sea and Shore" magazine. http://www.wallawalla.edu/academics/departments/biology/rosario/inverts/Annotated_Bibliography.html#Rice+1973
- Harbo, Rick M., 1997. ;Shells and Shellfish of the Pacific Northwest: ; A Field Guide. ;Harbour Publishing, Madeira, BC. Canada. ; ISBN 1-55017-146-1. ;Paperback, 271 pp. ; The front of this book has color photos and briefdescriptions of mollusks and brachiopods found in the northwest. ;The latter part of the book has somewhat more detailed descriptions keyedto the color photos. ; Organized taxonomically. http://www.wallawalla.edu/academics/departments/biology/rosario/inverts/Annotated_Bibliography.html#Harbo+1997
- Morris, Percy A., 1966. ;Pacific Coast Shells. ; Peterson Field Guide. ; 297 pp, paperback. ;Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. ; ISBN 0-395-08029-0. ; Brief descriptionsand mostly black-and-white photos of hundreds of shells found on the NorthAmerican Pacific coast. http://www.wallawalla.edu/academics/departments/biology/rosario/inverts/Annotated_Bibliography.html#Morris+1966
- Fitch, John E., 1953. ;Common marine bivalves of California. ; State of California Departmentof Fish and Game, Marine Fisheries Branch Fish Bulletin No. 90. ; 102pp. ; Includes a key, a list of common and scientific names, and aphotograph and brief description of many of the species found. ; Sincethis is an old reference, many of the names are out of date. http://www.wallawalla.edu/academics/departments/biology/rosario/inverts/Annotated_Bibliography.html#Fitch+1953
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