A Devil Clam has been collected in Tonga and is being offered to the aquarium hobby by Ecological Reef Farms Tonga for the first time ever. These pictures of Tridacna mbalavuana are the best, and closest look we’ve ever had of this enigmatic species – most pictures show the Devil Clam as a dark, warty mantled species with a really wide gape but this individual is sporting a certain degree of colored splotches that are somewhat reminiscent of its closest relative, Tridacna derasa.
The Devil clam, Tridacna mbalavuana, formerly known as T. tevoroa is a poorly known species of giant clam which has never entered the aquarium hobby, as far as we can tell. While the Devil Clam cannot hold a candle to the incredible colors and patterns of croceas, maximas and gigas, its unique shape and funky looking pattern makes it really stand out from all the other species.
Not much is known about the Devil Clam besides its natural range centered around Tonga, and that it is typically found in deeper water than its shallow water counterparts. Besides its proclivity for deeper water and having such an unusual mantle color and texture, T. mbalavuana is unique among all Tridacna sp. in having a mantle that only extends to the edge of the shell like Hippopus, whereas as all species of Tridacna except for this one have mantles that can extend far beyond the shell’s edge.
This specimen of the Devil Clam was collected between 25 and 30 meters, or about 80 to 100 feet deep which is no man’s land when it comes to other species of Tridacnids. This exquisite example of Devil Clam is truly a unique specimen and at about a footlong and nearly that wide when fully extended, it’s deserving of a new home in a nice large reef tank. We’ll keep our pulse on this clam to find out where it ends up but in the meantime, we are just tickled that these images of Tridacna mbalavuana exist to share with you in the first place.