Name Scientific: Paphies subtriangulata, P. donacina
Availability: Year round
Attributes Length: 5–8cm diameter
P. subtriangulata occurs around the North Island and P. donacina around the South Island. Both species can be found on Cook Strait beaches.
They can move up and down the beach (usually at night) when the tide is favourable and burrow once the tide changes. They have short siphons and do not burrow deeply. The two species are currently not differentiated at harvest.
Tuatua belong to the Mesodesmatidae family (clams). Related species: Two closely-related species are harvested as Tuatua: P. subtriangulata and P. donacina. P. subtriangulata has parallel top and bottom edges. P. donacina has a bright, cream-coloured shell.
Tuatua are managed under the Quota Management System (QMS). They are harvested year round.
They are harvested year-round.
Did You Know
Tuatua can burrow very quickly, making it a challenge to dig for at times. It also squirts water when threatened.