Peer-reviewed articles

Mollusc on the move; First record of the Newfoundland's razor clam, Ensisterranovensis Vierna & Martínez-Lage, 2012 (Mollusca; Pharidae) outside its native range


Sæmundur Sveinsson

Research Group Leader

Authors: : Gunnarsson K, Sveinsson S, Gíslason D, Malmquist HJ, Micael J, Gíslason S

Version: BioInvasions Records

Publication year: 2023


In recent years the number of non-indigenous marine species has been increasing in Icelandic waters. In May 2019, a razor shell (Ensis sp.) was found for the first time in Iceland. Since then, living and empty razor shells have been discovered at several locations in Southwest Iceland. Upon morphological examination, the specimens were thought to belong to either Ensis leei or Ensis terranovensis, both native to the east coast of North America. Molecular analysis, using COI and 16S rRNA markers,
showed that the Icelandic specimens belong to the latter species. Native populations of Ensis terranovensis have, until now, only been reported in Newfoundland, Canada. This represents the first record of E. terranovensis outside its native range. The Newfoundland's razor shell has most likely arrived in Iceland as larvae discharged with ballast water. Based on the sizes of specimens found in Iceland, the species is likely to have arrived several years prior to this first record. Presumably it has already established viable spawning populations that are likely to spread along the coast