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Corbicula fluminea
Image courtesy of United States Geological Survey, via Wikimedia Commons public domain license
Corbicula fluminea
Taxonomic Group: Mollusks-Bivalves


Corbicula fluminea, commonly known as the Asian Freshwater Clam, has a relatively thick and large shell, compared to other freshwater bivalves. Corbicula spp., are native to Asia, including Indonesia and the Philippines and probably also to Africa and Australia. Several hermaphroditic genetic lineages of these clams have been introduced to North America, Central America, South America, Europe and Hawaii. In North America, C. fluminea was first introduced to the West Coast from Asia and then spread rapidly across the continent. It is now found in the Great Lakes, on the Gulf and East Coasts, and in Mexico. It colonizes slow-moving rivers, lakes, and the low-salinity regions (0-5 PSU) of estuaries. As a rapidly reproducing and quickly spreading filter-feeder its economic and ecological impacts on freshwater and estuarine systems have been diverse and complex. It can increase water quality and act as a new food resource for other species, but can also cause fouling problems for many industrial operations such as electricity and water treatment plants.

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Fofonoff PW, Ruiz GM, Steves B, Simkanin C, & Carlton JT (2018)
National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System.
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Marine Invasions Lab
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

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