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Index of flora
Index of fauna
Kingdom Animale | Phylum Mollusca | Class Bivalvia
on this site

Family Arcidae
Blood Cockle
Anadara granosa

Family Glauconomidae
Brown or Mud Mussel Glauconome

Family Mytilidae
Green Mussel
Perna viridis

Family Dreissenidae

Family Isognomonidae
Mangrove Hammer Shell
Isognomon ephippium

Family Anomiidae
Crust Shell
Enignomia rosea

Family Limidae
File Shell Lima lima

Family Clavagellidae
Waterspout or Watering-pot Shell
Brechites penis

Family Ostreidae
Edible Rock Oyster Saccostrea

Jewel Box Shell Chama

Family Geloinidae
Giant Mud Clam Geloina

Family Tridacnidea
Giant Clam Tridacna squamosa
Class Bivalvia
Almost all bivalves are filter feeders and have two shell valves which hinge on their dorsal margin. Among those living on hard substrates, some have byssal threads to attach themselves (e.g., Barbatia, Septifer, Pinctada) while others are free-swimming on sandy areas of rocky shores and reefs (e.g., Chlamys, Lima), or even embedded in coral rock (eg. Boring Giant Clam, Tildacna crocea Family Tridacnidae).
Photo by Tan Bee Hong
Clockwise from top left:
Barbatia, Chlamys, Septifer, Gafrarium, Pinctada
Chlamys, the edible Scallop (F. Pectinidae) swims by closing its two valves rapidly. Wing oysters, Pinctada (F. Pteridae) prefer more open waters. Ark shells, Barbatia (F. Arcidae) and Septifer (F. Mytilidae) are found in crevices on the lower surfaces of rocks. Gafrarium (F. Veneridae) is found in sand between rocks.

Bivalve shells are also common in soft substrates, and since they are filter feeders, some populations inevitably concentrate toxic chemicals (e.g., PCBs, lead, mercury, zinc), viruses (e.g., hepatitis), bacteria (e.g., Vibrio, the human gut bacteria Escherichia coli, those involved in food poisoning and cholera), and sometimes poisonous algae (e.g., dinoflagellates that cause Red Tide).

Paphia, Meretrix and Laternula are mangrove species, living in the soft mud in the littoral area.

Venus and Tellina prefer the littoral sand, whilst Anomalocardia inhabits muddy areas facing open waters.

Donax occurs in the sand of the upper parts of the littoral zone.
Photo by Tan Bee Hong
1st row: Meretrix, Paphia (2 species)
2nd row: Venus, Tellina, Donax
3rd row: Laternula, Anomalocardia
Shore environment
From A Guide to Seashore Life by Dr Leo W H Tan and Peter K L Ng
Published by the Singapore Science Centre and sponsored by BP

@Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research and Singapore Science Centre