Northern Quahog


Northern Quahog
Mercenaria mercenaria

Also Known As: clam
hard-shelled clam
littleneck clam

Conservation Status: Not Listed

Size: Shell can be between 2-6 inches long. Weigh between 1 to 2 kilograms.

Range: Eastern coast of North America.

Habitat: Mudflats, sand flats; inlets ,bays; water up between 50 to 60 feet deep.

Diet: Feeds primarily on kelp, algae and plankton; food filtered through gills.

Breeding: May to October; also depending on water temperature, must be water at least 70 degrees F Females produce 16 to 24 million eggs during spawning.

Notes: Native Americans often used beads made from clam shells as money, known as wampum

Warnings: Eating raw seafood of any kind can pose a health danger due to bacteria that can cause sickness or even death!

Description & Behavior
The Northern Quahog is a large bivalve mollusk ridged shell whose color varies from off white to dingy dirty white to a pale yellow tinged with brown. The interior of the Northern Quahog shell is also light colored with a purple patch near the back end. It has a soft foot underneath for movement and burying itself in the sand or mud.