Archerd Shell Collection > Shell Classes > Bivalvia > Solenacea

Superfamily: Solenacea (Razor & Jackknife Clams)

Two families, Solenidae, and Cultellidae comprise this superfamily. Both families include quite similar clam species, ranging from very narrow shells similar to the old-fashioned straight edge razor, to shells having a wider, blunt shape. In both cases, the ventral edge is razor-sharp to the careless collector! Both families have shells with small cardinal hinge teeth. A reinforcing rib is detectable along the length of the very fragile razor shells.
The species, Solen and Ensis, burrow in soft intertidal sands, and most are much valued as food products. Some species of  Solen, living in poorly aerated substrata, possess the oxygen storing molecule, hemoglobin, like certain ark clams, and the red hemoglobin pigment is otherwise only rarely found in bivalves. Generally, bivalves absorb oxygen from the water directly.
Class: Bivalvia
Subclass: Heterodonta
Order: Veneroida
Superfamily: Solenacea
Families: Solenidae & Cultellidae
Major Genera
Family: Solenidae
  • Genus: Solen
Family: Cultellidae
  • Genus: Cultellus
  • Genus: Ensis
  • Genus: Pharella
  • Genus: Siliqua
Siliqua_patula.JPG (49078 bytes)
Siliqua patula (Dixon, 1788)
Pacific Razor Clam
Family: Cultellidae

Solen_sicarius.JPG (54151 bytes)
Solen sicarius (Gould, 1850)
Blunt Jackknife Clam
Family: Solenidae



Solen viridis
Green Jackknife

Archerd Shell Collection > Shell Classes > Bivalves > Jackknife Clams