Species Information

Asian clam Asian clam
Emily Debolt, Lake George Association
Asian clam
Emily Debolt, Lake George Association
Asian clam
Corbicula fluminea

  Click here for information at USGS!

  Click here for a quick guide for this species. PDF format!

  Click here for a quick species card. PDF format!

History
  • First confirmed report in North America was in 1938 in the Columbia River drainage
  • Since then Asian clams have become widely distributed especially in the southern United States

 


Characteristics
  • Shells greenish-yellow to brown with thick concentric rings
  • Thick symmetrical shell
  • Up to 2 inches  (5 cm) long
  • Inside of shell is smooth and polished with a light purple tinge
  • Three cardinal teeth in each valve

Habitat
  • Large rivers and lakes
  • Clams burrow prefer sandy or silty sediments into which they burrow up to 6-8 inches

Known Distribution in the Northeast
  • Widely distributed in southern and western United States, in the Great Lakes and in southern New England
  • Discovered in 2010 in Lake George, NY in the Champlain basin

Impacts
  • Clogging of power plant and industrial water systems, irrigation canals and pipes and drinking water supplies
  • Competes with native species for limited resources
  • May promote algae blooms due to localized nutrient loading from dense clam beds (observed in Lake Tahoe, CA)

Asian clam
Emily Debolt, Lake George Assocation