The blue squamosa clam is one of the most highly sought after strains of any Tridacna for aquarium keepers. Wild specimens are very occasionally imported but the quality of their mantle color and pattern vary greatly from the kind-of blue, to the wildly blue.
About three years ago there was a huge influx of a very specific strain of blue squamosa clam with perfect shells and scutes, and very fleshy mantle that is covered with metallic blue spots. That initial supply seemed to satiate the demand for this strain to the point that small individuals starting selling for a paltry $99 a piece, but then the supply completely dried up.
Today we think we have uncovered a piece of the puzzle on the origin of these blue squammies thanks to a tip from Pieces of the Ocean. The New York based shop recently acquired a new specimen of this precise, blue-spotted strain of Tridacna squamosa but this time the desirable bivalve came with a story and a pedigree.
It turns out that the blue-spotted squamosa clams were the result of an Australian inland giant clam breeding and farming project, making these the first fully captive grown Tridacna squamosa that we know of, and one of the very few giant clams that see exports from the land down under. The completely closed system in which these clams were grown explains how the shells of this and other specimens are so clean and so perfect with no biofouling and “gem-quality” calcium shells.
Unfortunately, we have also learned that this particular clam breeding project is no longer in operation, so we don’t expect to see any more of these unique blue spotted clams coming to us captive bred, or otherwise. Like the gigas clams before them, captive breeding made many specimens available for a short period of time, briefly saturating the market and then disappearing from the supply chain.
It’s cool to finally know the origin story of these beautiful examples of blue spotted squamosa clams but now it seems that when the last few specimens are sold, that will be it as far as beautiful, perfect captive bred blue squammies are concerned. Pieces of the Ocean still has one specimen for sale and there might be a few more kicking around here and there but once this particular strain of blue squamosa is sold out, we are not likely to see them again for a really really long time.