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Overview

Brief Summary

As the name indicates, thick trough shells are robust medium-sized shells. Single or double valves wash ashore regularly. Living or recently dead specimen sometimes wash ashore after a storm or frost. When fresh, they are white to grayish white. Older specimen are usually discolored and often wash ashore during sand supplementation.
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Comprehensive Description

Description

 Spisula solida can reach lengths up of 5 cm. It has a triangular outline with rounded corners. Fine concentric lines and grooves are grouped close together on either side of the beaks. The outer shell surface is brownish or yellowish-white. The shell is white on the inside. The three cardinal teeth of the left valve are fused and short, extending only half way to the inner hinge plate rim, whereas the right valve has two short cardinal teeth. The left valve has single, elongate, anterior and posterior lateral teeth and the right valve has paired anterior and posterior lateral teeth.Spisula solida may be confused with Spisula elliptica, however the latter is smaller and more delicate. Spisula elliptica is also narrower relative to its length. Spisula solida may also be confused with Mactra stultorum but the cardinal teeth of the latter are smooth rather than ridged.  Please note: the biology of Spisula solida is poorly known and information on closely related species has been used where appropriate.
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Source: Marine Life Information Network

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Distribution

With observations in the coastal zone up to in the open sea the distribution of Spisula solida covers the entire Belgian part of the North Sea. The species is mainly found on the tops of the sandbanks. During the 1976-1986 period S. solida was found in a relatively high number of locations. In the 1994-2001 period, however, the distribution frequency decreased considerably. In both periods S. solida reached a maximum density of 40 ind./m2.
  • Degraer S., J. Wittoeck, W. Appeltans, K. Cooreman, T. Deprez, H. Hillewaert, K. Hostens, J. Mees, E. Vanden Berghe & M. Vincx (2006). The macrobenthos atlas of the Belgian part of the North Sea. Belgian Science Policy. D/2005/1191/3. ISBN 90-810081-6-1. 164 pp.
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Description

A thick oval shell, mostly coloured dirty white and measuring up to 50 mm long. Concentric lines at the front and back are reasonably coarse, growth lines are clear. A shallow burrowing suspension feeder.
  • Degraer S., J. Wittoeck, W. Appeltans, K. Cooreman, T. Deprez, H. Hillewaert, K. Hostens, J. Mees, E. Vanden Berghe & M. Vincx (2006). The macrobenthos atlas of the Belgian part of the North Sea. Belgian Science Policy. D/2005/1191/3. ISBN 90-810081-6-1. 164 pp.
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© WoRMS for SMEBD

Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Ecology

Habitat

Spisula solida mainly prefers coarse-grained sediments: the higher the median grain size, the higher the relative occurrence (up to 20%). The species furthermore also tends to prefer the presence of a low mud content (0-20%). The species does not occur in sediments with a mud content exceeding 20%.The high relative occurrence (20%) in sediments with a median grain size of 50-100 µm is considered unreliable (outlier).
  • Degraer S., J. Wittoeck, W. Appeltans, K. Cooreman, T. Deprez, H. Hillewaert, K. Hostens, J. Mees, E. Vanden Berghe & M. Vincx (2006). The macrobenthos atlas of the Belgian part of the North Sea. Belgian Science Policy. D/2005/1191/3. ISBN 90-810081-6-1. 164 pp.
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© WoRMS for SMEBD

Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Depth range based on 194 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 113 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 375
  Temperature range (°C): 6.506 - 10.845
  Nitrate (umol/L): 2.055 - 12.040
  Salinity (PPS): 22.343 - 35.232
  Oxygen (ml/l): 5.996 - 7.118
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.312 - 0.777
  Silicate (umol/l): 2.091 - 7.673

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 375

Temperature range (°C): 6.506 - 10.845

Nitrate (umol/L): 2.055 - 12.040

Salinity (PPS): 22.343 - 35.232

Oxygen (ml/l): 5.996 - 7.118

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.312 - 0.777

Silicate (umol/l): 2.091 - 7.673
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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 Spisula solida is a burrowing bivalve occasionally found at low water but more usually in the sublittoral. It prefers sandy beds with continually moving water and avoids mud and stagnant water.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Validity

Valid as Spisula (Spisula) solida (Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Howson, C.M.; Picton, B.E. (Ed.) (1997). The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Ulster Museum Publication, 276. The Ulster Museum: Belfast, UK. ISBN 0-948150-06-8. vi, 508 (+ cd-rom) pp.
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Wikipedia

Surf clam

The Atlantic surf clam, known locally as the "surf clam", scientific name Spisula solida, is a medium-sized marine clam or bivalve mollusc. Up to 5 centimetres (2.0 in) long, like many clams it is a sediment-burrowing filter feeder.[1][2]

This species of clam is found at scattered locations around the British and Irish coasts.

The shell of the surf clam is the main ingredient in the Japanese food wash-solution Surfcera (or Anshin Yasai 安心やさい).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Spisula solida, a MarLIN entry
  2. ^ Spisula solida ,a Marbef entry
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