Mercenaria mercenaria MERMER-091094-KEMSKI-001

This entry was posted on Saturday, September 10th, 1994 and is filed under Clams, Spawning Reports.

The Breeder’s Registry® Information contained in this report is taken from submitted observations from aquarist unless noted otherwise (see comments). Information may be reproduced providing the Breeder’s Registry is cited.


Breeder ID: MERMER-091094-KEMSKI-001

Date received: 9/10/94

Identification: Mercenaria mercenaria (Linnaeus, 1758)

Geographic origin: Western Atlantic 


Taxonomy: (after I.C.Z.N.)

Kingdom Animalia

Phylum Mollusca

Class Bivalvia (Linnaeus, 1758) ( = Pelecypoda, (Goldfuss, 1920)) (=Lamellibranciata) Subclass Palaeoheterodonta (Newell, 1965)

Order Veneroida (H. and A. Adams, 1856)

Family Veneridae (Rafinesque, 1815)

Genus Mercenaria (Schumacher, 1817)

Species mercenaria (Linnaeus, 1758)


Description: not available


Physical differences: not indicated

Adult diet: Cultured phytoplankton

Pre-spawning activity: Temperature acclimation and feeding to condition

Time spawning began: upon temperature increase

Egg description: not indicated

Approximate quantity: 1 – 5M

Size: 30 – 50 m

Egg changes / development: 24 hour to veliger.

Incubation period: not indicated

Size of hatching larvae: 30 – 50 m

Newly hatched appearance: trochophore – not indicated

Transfer / removal method: Broodstock moved to separate tank after spawning 


Spawning tank size (liter): 1000

Sides of tank covered? No

Lighting & photo period: not indicated

Filtration: raw seawater, 50 – 70 gpm (circulation)

Additives and dosages: none

Water temperature (F): not indicated

Specific gravity: 1.019 – 1.024


Fry development / changes: metamorphosis at 7-10 days; 130 m

First food offered: Isochrysis sp.

Second food offered: Isochrysis sp. and centric diatoms

Development description: no further larval information provided


Rearing tank size (liter): 375

Sides of tank covered? No

Lighting & photo period: not indicated

Filtration: raw seawater


Original description: Linnaeus described Venus mercenaria in 1758, (Systema Naturae). Schumacher authored the genus Mercenaria in 1817, which apparently resulted in the re-classification of V. mercenaria to M. mercenaria as Linnaeus is still credited as the author.

Synonym: Venus mercenaria (Linnaeus, 1758)

Subspecies texana (Dall, 1902)

Vernacular name: northern quahog (Primary)

Word origin: The genus and species are from the Greek root(s); mer meaning a part; cen meaning recent or common; and ari meaning very. The subclass Palaeoheterodonta (Newell, 1965) is well represented as fossils from the; Ordovician to recent group (fossil records) and are considered among the most common and abundant of the modern shallow and deep-water bivalves. Venus is a commonly cited example. Palaeoheterodonta is from the Greek root(s) palaeo meaning ancient; heter meaning other or different, and odont meaning a tooth, which in this case is in reference to shell structure(s).

Suggested reading:

Brusca, Richard C. & Gary J., Invertebrates, 1990, Sinauer Associates, Inc., Sunderland, MA
01375, USA, Chapter 20 Mollusca, ISBN 0-87893-098-1

Fenton, Carroll, L. & Mildred A., The Fossil Book, 1958, 1989, Doubleday, 666 Fifth Avenue,
New York, NY 10103, USA, ISBN 0-385-19327-0

About this report: Information contained in this report is taken from submitted observations. Taxonomy, Synonomy, Original description , Word origin and Suggested reading are provided by member(s) of The Breeder’s Registry staff. Information is presented under the belief that it is accurate. If you have information in addition to, or contrary to that presented you are encouraged to contact the Breeder’s Registry. Permission is granted for “one-time” personal use. Reproduction as distributed or accessible media is prohibited without prior written permission. All rights reserved. 1994

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