Free swimming larvae

The Razor clam has so called external fertilization. This means that both sexes release their eggs and sperms into the water. The fertilized eggs hatch to larvae, that swim freely in the water. After a few weeks the larvae transform, became heavier and start a bottom living existence dug down into the substrate.


The Razor clam was at one time only found long the North American coast from Labrador to Florida. In 1979 the first examples, both living and empty shells, were found on the German North Sea coast by the Elbe estuary. It is thought that a few free swimming larvae had found their way to Europe in the ballast tank of a ship, which had emptied its tanks outside Hamburg. The species has since then spread, and was found in Denmark 1981, and in Holland and Sweden, 1982. Now they are quite common along the beaches of the North Sea, Kattegatt and the Skagerrak. In Sweden, they are found in Bohuslän and presumably in Halland.


The clams ligament, that functions as a hinge, is on the Razor clam placed on the shells front end. Nearly the whole length of the long shell represents what would be the hind part of the shell of a normally built clam.
Shell interior

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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