When it comes to giant clams, very few species can truly grab our attention like a nice, big, blue squamosa clam. Sure our heads will turn for a crazy rare Tonga Devil clam, an African Costata clam, blue Derasa clams and the like, but for sheer eye catching quality, a jumbo blue Tridacna squamosa cannot be beat.
We’re not talking about the cooky-cutter farmed blue squamosas that are produced by the hundreds, but the one of a kind, brilliant blue and near-black patterned stunners that are truly one in a thousand. We’ve seen our fair share of sexy blue squammies in aquariums, but yesterday we came face to face with the pinnacle of this type of clam we’re talking about.
With Vincent Chalias of Bali Aquarium as our guide, we hit up a number of dive sites along a stretch of the Bali coastline in and around Tulamben Indonesia. On one particular dive he informed us that he had seen a blue squamosa clam before, but nothing could have properly described the glorious color, pattern, and sheer size of this stupendous specimen of the giant fluted clam.
No words or descriptions could have prepared us for coming face to face with this exceptional squammie, which was all the more glorious due to being a maximum size for the species nearing about 18 inches long, and over a foot wide – that’s 45 cm long by 30 cm wide for the rest of the world. This sighting was made all the more special due to a special blessing of perfect dive conditions.
Clear water, calm seas, and low current were really conducive to capturing the blue squamosa clam in pictures and in a nice video tour. It also didn’t hurt that this particular bivalve was not camera shy, and it hardly flinched its mantle despite our trio of powerful LED video lights beaming brightly on that luscious mantle.
If you want an indication of how large this particular Tridacna squamosa is, check out the video below with full grown hydroid fronds growing from the clam shell’s flutes, and the myriad of fishes actually swimming inside the body cavity of the clam. Also be sure to scroll down for some images of ‘normal’ colored squamosa clam which we photographed in the same region and dive sites of the Tridacna in focus today.
There’s not many reef animals beside giant clams that can tear our attention from coral scouting while on a wild reef. But if we haven’t waxed poetically about this clam enough already, let’s just say that we don’t believe we’ll ever see another clam as impressively colored as this one.
If we’d spent the entire dive observing this blue squamosa clam in-situ for a whole tank, that would have been fine with us. Thankfully, there’s still lots more awesome reef animals to look for and document, especially in Indonesia, and this mature adult blue squamosa clam is just the first gem from our diving and reef travels in Indonesia this year.