Facts about Cherrystone Clam, "Scientific name for Cherrystone Clam Mercenaria mercenaria".
Cherrystone Clams are the palatable sea bivalve mollusk that belongs to the genus Mercenaria of the Veneridae family. The scientific name of the Cherrystone clam is Mercenaria mercenaria, and they are native to the eastern coasts of Central America and North America, ranging from the Prince Edward Island to the Yucatán Peninsula. The Cherrystone Clam are also called as the hard clam, and are recognized as quahog, hard-shell clam, or round clam. Cherrystone Clams are one among several unrelated palatable bivalves, which are often referred to just as clams in the United States.
Features of Cherrystone Clam
Usually, Cherrystone Clams grow to a maximum size of 4 inches (10 cm). The Cherrystone Clams possess a firm, thick, rounded shell that is usually seen in light brown to gray color or white color. There are concentric ridges on their shells and the shells are joined at the pivot by a wide, brown color ligament. The interior of the shell is white in color, and has a unique dark purple color mark. The Cherrystone Clams have the habit of feeding through their siphon, which is an organ in the form of a straw. These siphons are small in size, and they periodically extend from the inside parts of their body. They use these siphons to suck water into their body. The Cherrystone Clams have gills, which they use to filter food elements from the water. The feet of these clams assume the shape of a hatchet.
Cherrystone Clams are a commercially vital species that are harvested both by the recreational clammer and by commercial fishermen. These clams are categorized by the size of their body in the food market. The smallest size in the family of Cherrystone Clams is the littleneck clam, trailed by topneck clams, Cherrystone Clams and then chowders.
Adult Cherrystone Clams have several natural predators, as well as tautogs, gulls, waterfowl, blue crabs, cownose rays and oyster drills. Humans reap Cherrystone Clams for commercial and recreational purposes.
Diet of Cherrystone Clam
Cherrystone Clams usually feed on microscopic creatures and plants from the water column.
Behavior of Cherrystone Clam
Cherrystone Clams are habitually filter feeders, and while they buried in the sand, these clams stick up their two siphons above the ground surface. They draw in water in the course of one siphon, after that they sort out the plankton from the water. The idle water and elements are ejected in the course of the second siphon.
Habitually, Cherrystone Clams use their feet to bury themselves just below the surface of the mud or sand. They can be seen from the seashore at a depth of 60 feet (150 cm). Usually, these Cherrystone Clams prefer to live in the saline waters of the lower Chesapeake Bay, and they can be typically seen in Virginia waters. In the Maryland part of the Bay, Cherrystone Clams are limited to Tangier and Pocomoke resonances.
Reproduction of Cherrystone Clam
Cherrystone Clams spawn from May and continue until October, once they produce mature gametes and increase in water temperatures more than 68 to 73 degrees Centigrade. Female Cherrystone Clam are capable of laying 16 to 24 million eggs for each spawn, and the eggs get fertilized in the water column. After hatching, free-swimming juveniles grow within 1 to 2 weeks. During this time the Cherrystone Clam attain a body size that is employed to move slowly over and discover a surface earlier than settling. When the young ones discover an appropriate place to settle, they secure themselves, using skinny strands that are secreted from a gland on their foot. They gradually metamorphose into adolescents, developing siphons, gills and digestive viscera
The average lifespan of Cherrystone Clams ranges from 4 years to 8 years.