Description: Members of Order Myoida burrow and most have long siphons. The hinge has few teeth. Members of Family Myidae have an internal hinge ligament and a large projecting chondrophore in the left valve only (Photo). Cryptomya californica has a thin shell and a shallow, inconspicuous pallial sinus that is not as deep as it is wide. Its siphons are quite short but it may live buried up to 50 cm below the sediment surface by extending its siphons into the burrow of another animal. The white shell is smooth except for fine concentric lines and has a thin yellow-brown periostracum. The anterior and posterior ends are fairly similar in shape. The umbones are very close to the middle. The valves gape slightly at the posterior end. Length to 3.7 cm (usually less than 3).
How to Distinguish from Similar Species: Other members of Family Myidae such as Sphenia ovoidea and Mya arenaria have a pallial sinus at least as deep as wide. The umbones are anterior to the middle, and the posterior end of the shell is clearly different from the anterior.
Geographical Range: Northern Japan to Alaska and south to Peru.
Depth Range: Intertidal to 80 m
Habitat: Soft mud and sand.
History: This small
clam often extends its siphons
into the burrows of Neotrypaea
pugettensis, or Urechis
caupo raher than to the sediment surface. It
also readily moves
to a different site. This species broods its young.
Kozloff, 1987, 1996
General Notes and
Observations: Locations, abundances,
Authors and Editors
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