BIOTIC Species Information for Ensis ensis
Researched byJacqueline Hill Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
General Biology
Growth formBivalved
Feeding methodActive suspension feeder
Environmental positionInfaunal
Typical food typesSuspended organic detritus HabitBurrow dwelling
Bioturbator FlexibilityNone (< 10 degrees)
FragilityFragile SizeMedium(11-20 cm)
HeightInsufficient information Growth Rate2-4 cm/year
Adult dispersal potential10-100m DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional InformationTypical abundance
Abundance of Ensis sp. varies from high to low density. In favourable conditions - such as the lee of rocks, rocks and islands for Ensis arcuatus on the western coast, individuals are found in high densities in 'beds' which interchange individuals with the surrounding areas where they occur in a more dispersed pattern (Fahy et al. in press).

Size ranges
Size range given for Ensis ensis. Ensis siliqua males and females up to 20 cm and Ensis arcuatus males and females up to 15 cm.

Growth rates
Growth in the first winter is 2-4 cm. The three species have similar growth patterns but with different asymptotic lengths. In Ensis siliqua males grow faster than females. Growth rates are higher in the summer, when the food supply is abundant, than in the winter when the temperature and food supply are both reduced. Ensis ensis also show a neap-spring lunar growth pattern with smaller growth bands during spring tides when animals are emersed for longer (Henderson & Richardson, 1994). The growth rate given is the maximum rate in the first year or two of life. Thereafter growth falls to 2-3 cm/year (Robinson & Richardson, 1998).

Biology References
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