Harman Patil (Editor)


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Scientific name




Higher classification



Lower classifications
Giant clam, Maxima clam, Fluted giant clam, Boring clam, Southern giant clam

How to care for tridacna clams in your saltwater aquarium

Tridacna is a genus of large saltwater clams, marine bivalve mollusks in the subfamily Tridacninae, the giant clams. They have heavy shells, fluted with 4 to 6 folds. The mantle is brightly coloured. They inhabit shallow waters of coral reefs in warm seas of the Indo-Pacific region. These clams are popular in marine aquaria, and in some areas, such as the Philippines, members of the genus are farmed for the marine aquarium trade. They live in symbiosis with photosynthetic algae (zooxanthellae). Some species are eaten by humans.


Tridacna Tridacna derasa A Good Excuse to Clam Up

Underwater tridacna squmosa crocea maxima clams in 75 gallon reef tank

Systematics and phylogeny

The genus contains two subgenera and the following species:

  • Tridacna noae (Röding, 1798)
  • Subgenus Tridacna (Tridacna)

  • Tridacna derasa (Röding, 1798)
  • Tridacna gigas (Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Tridacna mbalavuana Ladd, 1934(= Tridacna tevoroa Lucas, Ledua & Braley, 1990)
  • Subgenus Tridacna (Chametrachea)

  • Tridacna squamosina Sturany, 1899 (= Tridacna costata Roa-Quiaoit, Kochzius,
  • Jantzen, Al-Zibdah & Richter 2008)

  • Tridacna crocea Lamarck, 1819
  • Tridacna maxima Röding, 1798( =Tridacna elongata)
  • Tridacna rosewateri Sirenho & Scarlato, 1991
  • Tridacna squamosa Lamarck, 1819

  • Tridacna ORA Clams ORA Oceans Reefs Aquariums

    An alternative older classification recognises a third subgenus Persikima containing T. derasa and T. mbalavuana. Recent biochemical studies have suggested that there may exist morphologically indistinct cryptic species.


    Tridacna httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

    Compared to other clams, the soft mantle that secretes the shell is greatly expanded. The clams even have small lens-like structures called ocelli through which light penetrates.

    Ecology and behaviour

    Tridacna Underwater Tridacna Squmosa Crocea Maxima Clams in 75 Gallon Reef

    Tridacna clams are common inhabitants of Indo-Pacific coral reef benthic communities in shallower waters. They live in symbiosis with photosynthetic dinoflagellate algae (Symbiodinium) that grow in the mantle tissues. Light penetrates the mantle through small lens-like structures called ocelli. They are sessile in adulthood. By day, the clams spread out their mantle so that the algae receive the sunlight they need to photosynthesize, whereas the colour pigments protect the clam against excessive light and UV radiation. Adult clams get most (70-100%) of their nutrients from the algae and the rest from filter feeding. When disturbed, the clam closes its shell. The popular opinion that they pose danger to divers who get trapped or injured between the closing sharp-edged shell is not very real, as the closing reaction is quite slow. Their large size and easy accessibility has caused overfishing and collapse of the natural stocks in many places and extirpation in some of the species. They are being sustainably farmed in some areas, both for the seafood market in some Asian countries and for the aquarium trade.

    Tridacna Tridacna maxea New giant clam hybrid of Tridacna maxima x T

    Tridacna clams can produce large white pearls with an undulating, porcelain-like surface, which may be described as "non-nacreous pearls". The "Pearl of Lao Tzu", also known as the "Pearl of Allah", is the world's largest pearl weighing 6.4 kilogrammes; it was said to have been found inside a Tridacna gigas by a Filipino diver in 1934.

    Artistic use

    Tridacna Tridacna maxima Tahiti super color clams 1216cm YouTube

    Over a hundred examples of carved Tridacna shells have been found in archaeological expeditions from Italy to the Near East. Similar in artistic style, they were probably produced in the mid-seventh century, made or distributed from the southern coast of Phoenicia. The backs and interior perimeters of the shells show animal, human, and floral motifs, while the interiors typically show recumbent sphinxes. The umbo of the shell is in the shape of a human female or bird's head. They were probably used to store eye cosmetics.

    Tridacna Giant Clams Tridacna Clams and Hippopus Clams Family Tridacnidae


    Tridacna Wikipedia

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