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Overview

Brief Summary

Razor shells (called jackknife or razor clam by the fishermen) is a collective term for various species of shellfish, the most important ones being the giant razor clam and the American, the pod, the grooved and the common razor shell. On the beach, you find the American razor clam the most often. This animal only needs 15 seconds to bury itself completely in the bottom! There are some fishermen experimenting with fishing razor shells commercially.
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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 3498 specimens in 11 taxa.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 1091 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): -99 - 260
  Temperature range (°C): 6.054 - 25.634
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.289 - 13.639
  Salinity (PPS): 32.282 - 38.362
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.099 - 6.764
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.031 - 1.057
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.756 - 8.264

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): -99 - 260

Temperature range (°C): 6.054 - 25.634

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.289 - 13.639

Salinity (PPS): 32.282 - 38.362

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.099 - 6.764

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.031 - 1.057

Silicate (umol/l): 0.756 - 8.264
 
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Associations

Known predators

Ensis Ensis, Macoma, Solemya) is prey of:
Cerebratulus
Nereis
Glycera
Polinices
Nassarius
Pagurus
Cancer
Myoxocephalus
Tautogolabrus
Pseudopleuronectes
Asterias

Based on studies in:
USA: Massachusetts, Cape Ann (Littoral, Mudflat)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • R. W. Dexter, The marine communities of a tidal inlet at Cape Ann, Massachusetts: a study in bio-ecology, Ecol. Monogr. 17:263-294, from p. 284 (1947).
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Known prey organisms

Ensis Ensis, Macoma, Solemya) preys on:
plankton
detritus

Based on studies in:
USA: Massachusetts, Cape Ann (Littoral, Mudflat)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • R. W. Dexter, The marine communities of a tidal inlet at Cape Ann, Massachusetts: a study in bio-ecology, Ecol. Monogr. 17:263-294, from p. 284 (1947).
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Evolution and Systematics

Evolution

Classification

in family Solenidae
  • North Sea Benthos Survey
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
                                        
Specimen Records:267Public Records:188
Specimens with Sequences:241Public Species:4
Specimens with Barcodes:91Public BINs:14
Species:6         
Species With Barcodes:5         
          
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Barcode data

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Locations of barcode samples

Collection Sites: world map showing specimen collection locations for Ensis

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Wikipedia

Ensis

Ensis is a genus of medium-sized edible saltwater clams, littoral bivalve mollusks in the family Pharidae. They are known in Scotland as Spoots, for the spouts of water they eject while burrowing into the sand, when visible at low tide.[2] This term may also colloquially include members of the genus Solen.

Description[edit]

The shells are long, narrow, and parallel-sided. This shape resembles a closed, old-fashioned straight razor (a cut-throat razor), or a closed jackknife (pocket knife) and sometimes these clams are known as razor shells or jackknives. The shells in these species are fragile and can easily be damaged when digging for these clams.

Ecology[edit]

Ensis species live in clean sand on exposed beaches. They are capable of digging very rapidly; see the description under the Atlantic jackknife clam. Some clammers catch jackknives by pouring salt on the characteristic keyhole-shaped breathing holes. The clam then tries to escape the salt by coming up out of its hole, and at this point it is possible to gently grab the shell and pull it out of the ground.

Species[edit]

Thirteen species are currently recognised:[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b S. Gofas (2010). "Ensis Schumacher, 1817". In P. Bouchet, S. Gofas & G. Rosenberg. World Marine Mollusca database. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved April 26, 2010. 
  2. ^ Breen, Mike; Trevor Howe and Phil Copland (February 2011). "A REPORT ON ELECTRICAL FISHING FOR RAZOR CLAMS (ENSIS SP.) AND ITS LIKELY EFFECTS ON THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT". Marine Scotland Science Report 03/11 (Marine Scotland Science Marine Laboratory): 11. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
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