Asian clam

Corbicula fluminea

Overview

Photo credit: ©GBNNSS
Corbicula fluminea
Habitat:
  • Freshwater lakes and streams of all sizes with mud, silt, sand and gravel benthic substrate (The benthic zone is the ecological region at the lowest level of a body of water such as an ocean, lake, or stream, including the sediment surface and some sub-surface layers). 

Description:
  • Typically this bivalve grows up to 25 mm in length but larger forms are know which can grow up to 50 to 65 mm.
  • C. fluminea has a yellowish brown to black shell with concentric, evenly spaced ridges on the shell surface.
  • This species is hermaphroditic, and has a high level of reproduction.

Download N.I.E.A. ID guide

 
Origin and Distribution:
  • Originated in China, Korea, south-eastern Russia, and the Ussuri Basin. Now widespread in Europe and the United States.

Impacts:
  • Asian clam reaches high densities and colonises suitable substrates.
  • It has similar impacts to the zebra mussel, competing with other species for food and space.
  • Water based industries, such as hydroelectric power stations and water abstraction for household use may be faced with higher costs due to the clogging of intake pipes by this species.
  • In the US one estimate from 1980 put the costs of correcting this problem at an estimated 1 billion dollars annually (ISSG).
  • They can also negatively impact on sand/gravel abstraction.

Is it found in Northern Ireland?
  • C. fluminea is present Northern Ireland and Ireland.
  • It is now known to be present in the River Foyle, the River Shannon, Keeldra Lough (Leitrim), Lough Derg, The River Barrow and the River Nore.
  • More distribution information can be found on the NBN Atlas NI 

You can help by reporting any sightings: @ the Centre for Environmental Data & Recording (CEDaR) - Or via the iRecord App.


How did it get here?
  • C. fluminea could have been introduced to Northern Ireland in boat bilge water as live bait or as a result of escapes from the aquarium trade. C. fluminea are known as "pygmy" or "gold" clams in the aquarium trade.

Biosecurity: 
For further queries, you can contact the Invasive Non Native Species (INNS) Team in the Northern Ireland Environment Agency on 028 9056 9558 or Email: invasivespecies@daera-ni.gov.uk

 

Species Related Files:

Invasive Species Ireland

Invasive Species Ireland