BIOTIC Species Information for Ensis ensis
Click here to view the MarLIN Key Information Review for Ensis ensis
Researched byJacqueline Hill Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandCommon on all British coasts.
Global distributionFrom Norway to the Atlantic coast of Spain. Ensis ensis and Ensis siliqua found in some parts of the Mediterranean.
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth rangeto a depth of 60m
MigratorySee additional information   
Distribution Additional Information
  • Habitat
    Ensis spp. Occur virtually everywhere inshore but favourable conditions, such as the lee of reefs, rocks and islands make for high densities known as 'beds' which interchange individuals with the surrounding areas where they occur in a more dispersed pattern. Ensis ensis beds do occur at extreme low water of spring tides but the species is much more common in depths of about 10m (Holme, 1954). Single specimens have been collected from depths of 60m in the Plymouth area. Ensis arcuatus lives in coarser sediment than either Ensis ensis or Ensis siliqua.
  • Migration
    Henderson & Richardson (1994) observed a distribution of razor clam size classes on a shore in north Wales which may indicate that there is a gradual down-shore migration of juveniles into the adult population. They suggest that juveniles become established further up the shore because the low water mark is exposed to the strongest tidal currents.
  • Wave exposure
    In moderate wave exposure Ensis ensis may be replaced by the larger Ensis siliqua (Holme, 1954).

Substratum preferencesFine clean sand
Coarse clean sand
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Offshore seabed
Strait / sound
Enclosed coast / Embayment
Biological zoneLower Eulittoral
Sublittoral Fringe
Upper Infralittoral
Lower Infralittoral
Upper Circalittoral
Lower Circalittoral
Wave exposureSheltered
Very Sheltered
Extremely Sheltered
Ultra Sheltered
Tidal stream strength/Water flowModerately Strong (1-3 kn)
Weak (<1 kn)
SalinityFull (30-40 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional InformationHabitat
Ensis spp. occur virtually everywhere inshore but favourable conditions, such as the lee of reefs, rocks and islands make for high densities known as 'beds' which interchange individuals with the surrounding areas where they occur in a more dispersed pattern. Ensis ensis beds do occur at extreme low water of spring tides but the species is much more common in depths of about 10 m (Holme, 1954). Single specimens have been collected from depths of 60 m in the Plymouth area. Ensis arcuatus lives in coarser sediment than either Ensis ensis or Ensis siliqua.

Migration
Henderson & Richardson (1994) observed a distribution of razor clam size classes on a shore in north Wales which may indicate that there is a gradual down-shore migration of juveniles into the adult population. They suggest that juveniles become established further up the shore because the low water mark is exposed to the strongest tidal currents.

Wave exposure
In moderate wave exposure Ensis ensis may be replaced by the larger Ensis siliqua (Holme, 1954).
Distribution References
About MarLIN | Contact, Enquiries & Feedback | Terms & Conditions | Funding | Glossary | Accessibility | Privacy | Sponsorship

Creative Commons License BIOTIC (Biological Traits Information Catalogue) by MarLIN (Marine Life Information Network) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license are available at http://www.marlin.ac.uk/termsandconditions.php. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own terms and conditions and they may or may not be available for reuse. Based on a work at www.marlin.ac.uk.