European Clam (Corbula gibba)

​Key Features

One valve fits inside the other.

Mature Shells:

  • have different sized valves
  • are plump and up to 15 mm in length
  • valves are sculptured with coarse, concentric grooves and ridges, the left valve additionally having faint radiating lines.

Photo of group of European clam shells 

European Clam Corbula gibba
Photo courtesy of Sarah Longrigg

Which Native Shells Look Similar?

Venerupis spp. and Mactra jacksonensis but their valves are approximately even sizes.

Colour photo of native clam Venerupis spp. 

Native clam Venerupis spp.
(Photo by Aquenal Pty Ltd)

Photo of Native Mactra jacksonensis

Native clam Mactra jacksonensis
(Photo by Aquenal Pty Ltd)


  • from intertidal to considerable depths
  • burrows into soft sediment
  • can survive in polluted waters.


Map of tasmania indicating in red the distribution of the European Clam in the Mersey River and in Southeast Tasmania from Southport to the Tasman Penninsular.
The European Clam is found in the Mersey River (Devonport) and in Southeast Tasmania from Southport to the Tasman Peninsula including the Derwent River (Hobart), D'Entrecasteaux Channel, Bruny Island, Frederick Henry Bay and Norfolk Bay and Dover.

What you can do:

  • clean and anti-foul boat hulls regularly
  • clean/wash shellfish and clean/dry aquaculture gear before transporting to a different lease
  • report sightings of Corbula to the Marine Environment contact


Invasive Species Enquiries
Invasive Species Branch
Phone: 03 6165 3777

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