World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Austrovenus stutchburyi

Article Id: WHEBN0022015660
Reproduction Date:

Title: Austrovenus stutchburyi  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Paphies australis, Paphies ventricosa, Pecten maximus, Placopecten magellanicus, Gathering seafood by hand
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Austrovenus stutchburyi

Austrovenus stutchburyi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Bivalvia
Order: Veneroida
Family: Veneridae
Genus: Austrovenus
Species: A. stutchburyi
Binomial name
Austrovenus stutchburyi
(Wood, 1828)

Chione stutchburyi

Austrovenus stutchburyi, common name the New Zealand cockle or New Zealand little neck clam, is an edible saltwater clam, a marine bivalve mollusc in the family Veneridae, the Venus clams.


Cockles live in harbours and estuaries in New Zealand. They live in the subtidal to intertidal zone, and when they are in the intertidal zone they live between the low tide mark and the mid tide mark. Cockles are unable to survive above the mid tide mark because of the increased exposure time. Cockles prefer to live in soft mud and fine sand, however they can be suffocated by extremely fine sand. For this reason, they mainly live in areas with a large grain size. The cockles bury 2 to 3 cm under the sand.


Cockles have a soft body which is protected from predation, desiccation and wave movement by a sturdy shell.

Predators find it difficult to pierce the shell of adult cockles. Sea birds drop cockles from high up, smashing their shells, to eat the body, but fish (such as flounder) can't break the shells. Younger cockles are more vulnerable to predation because their shells aren't as hard as adult cockles.

If a cockle lives in the intertidal zone it is protected against desiccation by the shell closing tightly together (the abductor muscles do this). A small amount of water is stored inside the shell, keeping the cockles body moist.

Strong wave action can dislodge cockles. The shell prevents damage to the body when it is drifting around in the water.


  • Powell A. W. B., New Zealand Mollusca, William Collins Publishers Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand 1979 ISBN 0-00-216906-1
  • Glen Pownall, New Zealand Shells and Shellfish, Seven Seas Publishing Pty Ltd, Wellington, New Zealand 1979 ISBN 0-85467-054-8
  • [1]
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.