[Updated on Apr. 18] Integration of CiNii Articles into CiNii Research

Migration by Mucous Cord in the Hard Clam <i>Meretrix lusoria</i>

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  • ハマグリ<i>Meretrix lusoria</i>の粘液糸による移動
  • ハマグリMeretrix lusoriaの粘液糸による移動
  • ハマグリ Meretrix lusoria ノ ネンエキシ ニ ヨル イドウ

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Hard clams of the genus Meretrix are known to excrete a long, thick cord of mucous from the base of their siphons, but few studies have examined the clams' use of this mucous cord as a means of passive locomotion, which may result as the cord is dragged about by water currents. In the present study of Meretrix lusoria, an inhabitant of intertidal sand flats, clam migration via the mucous cord was quantified over the course of a year in the intertidal zone of the Shirakawa River estuary in Kumamoto, Japan. After tidal emersion, many M. lusoria were found among cobbles flanking a roadway across the tidal flat, evidently having been stranded there while being dragged. Stranded clams were most abundant during spring tides from March to June. Most of them were of 25–40 mm in shell length (SL) whereas most clams in the nearby sandflat were under 15 mm in SL. Furthermore, the clams stranded among the cobbles were slightly lighter than those of the same SL found buried in the sand flat. In a laboratory study using clams of 20–60 mm SL, those of 25–30 mm SL secreted mucous actively under the influence of a strong flow of seawater. In a filed experiment, out-migration occurred more frequently in lighter clams than in heavier ones. Passive migration by means of the mucous cord might be an adaptive behavior of M. lusoria, providing a mean of escape from the poor food habitats.


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