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Solemya velum hand.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Bivalvia
Subclass: Cryptodonta
Order: Solemyoida
Family: Solemyidae
J. E. Gray, 1840[1]
Genera and species

See text.

Solemyidae is a family of saltwater clams, marine protobranch bivalve mollusks in the order Solemyoida.[2]


Solemyids are remarkable in that their digestive tract is either extremely small or non-existent, and their feeding appendages are too short to reach outside the shell.[3]

It has been shown that these clams host sulphur-oxidizing bacteria intracellularly within their gill filaments. As chemoautotrophs, these bacterial symbionts synthesize organic matter from CO2 and are the primary source of nutrition for the whole organism.[4][5] In turn, the animal host provides its symbionts a habitat in which they have access to the substrates of chemoautotrophy (O2, CO2, and reduced inorganic compounds such as H2S). Together, these partners create "animals" with novel metabolic capabilities.

Genera and species[edit]

The family Solemyidae includes two genera and the following species:


  1. ^ Bouchet, Philippe (2014). "Solemyidae Gray, 1840". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  2. ^ Powell A. W. B., New Zealand Mollusca, William Collins Publishers Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand (1979) ISBN 0-00-216906-1
  3. ^ Reid R. G. B. (1989) The unwhole organism. American Zoologist 29:1133-1140
  4. ^ Cavanaugh C. M., Abbott M. S., Veenhuis M. (1988) Immunochemical localization of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase in the symbiont-containing gills of Solemya velum (Bivalvia, Mollusca). PNAS 85:7786–7789
  5. ^ Stewart F. J., Cavanaugh, C. M. (2006) Bacterial endosymbioses in Solemya (Mollusca: Bivalvia) – Model systems for studies of symbiont-host adaptation. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 90: 343-360
  6. ^ Bouchet, Philippe (2014). "Acharax Dall, 1908". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  7. ^ Bouchet, Philippe (2014). "Solemya Lamarck, 1818". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2014-02-22.