Archerd Shell Collection > Shell Classes > Bivalvia > Limidae

Family: Limidae (File Clams)

The Limidae family are related to the scallops but typically remain attached to substrates with byssal threads, often spinning a nest of threads. The molluscs are largely found in sea floor sand of the tropics, but also in waters beyond the Arctic and Antarctic Circles.  Long sticky tentacles are generally visible, which in Lima hians, are colored a brilliant orange. In other species, a scarlet mantle and gill may be found. Some Lima species can actually swim like scallops (see for example Pectinidae), by clapping their shells together then expelling a water as a directed jet steam; for example, Lima hians.
The Limidae family systematics have been revised, and some older names are in error (see Mikkelsen & Bieler, Invertebrate Systematics 17(5): 667 - 710, 1996). Lima squamosa (Lamarck, 1801), which this shell was labelled is a misidentification.
Class: Bivalvia
Subclass: Pteriomorphia
Order: Pterioida
Suborder: Ostreina
Family: Limidae
Major Genera
  • Genus: Acesta
  • Genus: Lima
  • Genus: Limaria
  • Genus: Limea
  • Genus: Limatula (Antarctolima)

Lima lima (Linnaeus, 1758)
Spiny Lima



Lima hians
Hians File Clam


Doug Segar and Elaine Stamman Segar,
Limaria fragilis
File Shell

Archerd Shell Collection > Shell Classes > Bivalves > File Clams