Language English Photo: Biodôme Photo: Biodôme Photo: Biodôme Photo: Biodôme OngletsDescriptionDistinguishing featuresThe soft body of this clam is contained in a bivalved shell. With its flat shape and muscular foot, it can easily bury itself in loose bottoms. Its siphons may be up to six times as long as its shell. ReproductionThe male and female reach sexual maturity at 2 or 3 years. Soft-shelled clams reproduce in June. Fertilization is external: the eggs are fertilized in the water. The larvae swim for 2 weeks before metamorphosing into clams and temporarily attaching themselves to the bottom using filaments. DietThey filter water in order to take in microscopic plants and animals suspended in the water, just above the bottom. PredatorsTheir predators are humans and various marine animals, including diving ducks, cormorants, gulls, skates, flounder, cod, sculpins, sea stars, whelks and crabs. HabitatThey live in salt water in the estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence, and along the eastern seaboard from Labrador to North Carolina. They frequent soft, sand or mud bottoms and are found from the intertidal zone to depths of up to 9 m. Ecology, behaviourSoftshell clams filter up to 54 litres of water each day. They have two siphons: one for feeding and the other for evacuating waste. The young softshell clam digs a permanent burrow and buries itself up to 10 cm deep. French nameMye commune (coque) Scientific nameMya arenariaPhylumMolluscaClassbivalvia (pelecypoda; lamellibranchia)OrderEulamellibranchesFamilyMyacidaeSizeLength: 7.5 to 10 cmStatusCommon species, commercially exploited for human consumption.