European or basket shell clam (Varicorbula gibba)

What to look for

  • Shells not equal size, one is larger & fits like a lid, overlapping the other.
  • Coarse grooves & ridges.
  • Shell is plump, broadly oval coming to a triangular end.
  • Shell colour is white to pink with radiating red/brown rays.
  • Up to 2 cm long


  • Burrows into soft bottomed habitats, may attach to gravel & stones.
  • Intertidal to 150 m depth.
  • Temperate waters.


  • Can form mats on soft sediments smothering bottom communities & altering food availability.

Current locations 

  • Northern & south-eastern Tasmania
  • Port Phillip Bay 
  • Western Port Bay Victoria

What you can do

  • Inspect & clean niche areas & antifoul boat hulls regularly.
  • Clean & dry equipment before transporting & using in a different location.

More information

More information on this pest can be found on the National Introduced Marine Pest Information System

Report a sighting

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