Plankton eater

When the clam has buried itself in the sand, only the upper parts of its siphon are visible. With large individuals the siphons can be as large as 0,5 cm in diameter. Through its inhalent siphon water is pumped, and with it small microscpic organisms follow that are filtered out and eaten, afterwards the water is pumped out through the exhalent siphon.

Is fished

Razor clams are fished commercially as bait and food. In Europe, tens of thousands of tons are harvested annually. They are also fished commercially in the U.S. Razor clams are boiled for 5 minutes and can be eaten immediately or used as an ingredient in soups with root vegetables.
   There are two ways to fish Razor clams. One way is to use a sort of pike, about 60-70 cm long, flattened at the end and furnished with two barbs. The pike is stuck in the sand beside the clam and is then drawn up with the barbs. The other way is to pour a handfull of salt on the siphons which inhale the salt, whereby the clam becames irritated and creeps out of its hole.

Other Razor clams

In Swedish waters there are five specie of Razor clam belonging to the Ensis family. To distinguish between the species is difficult and they need to be examined internally. First the front and back adductor scars (where the muscle is attached to the shell), mantle and the shell hinge. Look at the next page!

Shell structure

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Pelagic larvae



Expert digger

Plankton eater

Is fished

Other Razor clams

Razor clam     More facts     Other names
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Bo Johannesson | Martin Larsvik | Lars-Ove Loo | Helena Samuelsson