Bivalves (Mollusca: Bivalvia) in Malaysian Borneo: status and threats

Main Article Content

Hadi Hamli
Abu Hena Mustafa Kamal
Mohd Hanafi Idris
Geoffery James Gerusu
Johan Ismail
Muyassar H. Abualreesh


Species checklists enlist the species existing within a distinct geographical biome and assist as an indispensable input for evolving conservation and administration strategies. The arenas of conservation ecology and biology face the challenge of exaggerated biodiversity, accredited to the non-recognition of taxonomic inconsistencies. The study’s goals are to organize all scattered taxonomic information regarding bivalve molluscs from Malaysian Borneo, i.e. Sarawak and Sabah, under one umbrella. Available literature regarding Malaysian Borneo was reviewed. The published taxonomic data on bivalve species, conservation status, inconsistencies, habitats (marine, fresh, and brackish), research aspects, threats, and conservation strategies are presented. A critical review of the checklists and distributional records of the class Bivalvia from Malaysian Borneo and subsequent validation of species names with the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) database revealed that currently 76 bivalve species from 12 orders and other entities, 18 superfamilies, and 27 families have been recorded from the area. Twenty-six inconsistencies with WoRMS were found, and the corrected names are presented. The study indicates most of the enlisted bivalve species have not been evaluated by the IUCN Red List authority and have ‘Least Concern’ or ‘Data Deficient’ status for Malaysian Borneo. To date, published documents on conservation decision strategies and guidelines for future research are not good enough. Nevertheless, potential threats and their remedies for bivalves in the enriched Malaysian Borneo ecosystems are discussed herein. 

Article Details

How to Cite
Abdulla-Al-Asif, Hadi Hamli, Mustafa Kamal, A.H., Idris, M.H., Gerusu, G.J., Ismail, J. and Abualreesh, M.H. 2021. Bivalves (Mollusca: Bivalvia) in Malaysian Borneo: status and threats. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 13, 11 (Sep. 2021), 19553–19565. DOI:


Abu Hena, M.K., M.H. Idris, R.M.Y. Khairul, M.K.A. Bhuiyan, N. Hoque & U. Kumar (2016). Diversity of macro-benthos in the mangrove forest of Kuala Sibuti, Miri, Sarawak. In: Malaysia International Biology Symposium (i-SIMBIOMAS 2016). Malaysia International Biology Symposium, Putrajaya International Convention Center, Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Agudo-Padrón, I.A. (2011). Threatened freshwater and terrestrial molluscs (Mollusca, Gastropoda et Bivalvia) of Santa Catarina state, Southern Brazil: check list and evaluation of regional threats. Biodiversity Journal 2(2): 59–66.

Al-Asif, A.A., H. Hamli, M.K. Abu Hena, M.H. Idris, G.J. Gerusu, J.B. Ismail & N.U. Karim (2020). Benthic macrofaunal assemblage in seagrass-mangrove complex and adjacent ecosystems of Punang-Sari estuary, Lawas, Sarawak, Malaysia. Biodiversitas 21(10): 4606–4615.

Alam, R., S. Sharmin, S.M. Majharul & A. Alam (2020). Salinity intrusion affects early development of freshwater aquaculture species pabda, Ompok pabda. Aquaculture Reports 18: 100476.

Amano, T. & W.J. Sutherland (2013). Four barriers to the global understanding of biodiversity conservation: Wealth, language, geographical location and security. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 280(1756).

Amaral, V.S.D. & L.R.L. Simone (2014). Revision of genus Crassostrea (Bivalvia: Ostreidae) of Brazil. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 94(4): 811–836.

Ashton, E.C., D.J. Macintosh & P.J. Hogarth (2003). A baseline study of the diversity and community ecology of crab and molluscan macrofauna in the Sematan mangrove forest, Sarawak, Malaysia. Journal of Tropical Ecology 19(2): 127–142.

Braje, T.J. & J.M. Erlandson (2013). Human acceleration of animal and plant extinctions: A late pleistocene, holocene, and anthropocene continuum. Anthropocene 4: 14–23.

Bryan, J.E., P.L. Shearman, G.P. Asner, D.E. Knapp, G. Aoro & B. Lokes (2013). Extreme differences in forest degradation in Borneo: Comparing practices in Sarawak, Sabah, and Brunei. PLoS ONE 8(7): e69679.

Buckingham, K.C., J.N.W. David & P. Jepson (2013). Environmental reviews and case studies: Diplomats and refugees: Panda diplomacy, soft cuddly power, and the new trajectory in panda conservation. Environmental Practice 15(3): 262–270.

Cao, Y.L., X.J. Liu, R.W. Wu, T. Xue, L. Li, C.H. Zhou, S. Ouyang & X.P. Wu (2018). Conservation of the endangered freshwater mussel Solenaia carinata (Bivalvia, Unionidae) in China. Nature Conservation 26: 33–53.

Carducci, F., M.A. Biscotti, E. Trucchi, M.E. Giuliani, S. Gorbi, A. Coluccelli, M. Barucca & A. Canapa (2020). Omics approaches for conservation biology research on the bivalve Chamelea gallina. Scientific Reports 10(1): 1–15.

Chaklader, R., M. Abu, B. Siddik, A. Hanif, A. Nahar, S. Mahmud & M. Piria (2016). Morphometric and meristic variation of endangered pabda catfish, Ompok pabda (Hamilton-Buchanan, 1822) from Southern coastal waters of Bangladesh. Pakistan Journal of Zoology 48(3): 681–687.

Chakraborty, B.K., Z.A. Mirza & A. Chakraborty (2010). Reproductive cycle of the endangered Pabda, Ompok pabda (Hamilton-Bouchanan, 1822) in Bangladesh. Asian Fisheries Science 23(3): 301–320.

Collen, B., L. Mcrae, S. Deinet, A. de Palma, T. Carranza, N. Cooper, J. Loh & J.E.M. Baillie (2011). Predicting how populations decline to extinction. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 366(1577): 2577–2586.

Gmelin J.F. (1791). Vermes, pp. 3021-3910. In: Gmelin J.F. (eds.). Caroli a Linnaei Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae. Ed. 13. Tome 1(6). G.E. Beer, Lipsiae [Leipzig].

Gofas, S., J. Le Renard & P. Bouchet (2001). Mollusca: European Register of Marine Species: a check-list of the marine species in Europe and a bibliography of guides to their identification. Patrimoines Naturels 50: 180–213.

Groves, C.R., D.B. Jensen, L.L. Valutis, K.H. Redford, M.L. Shaffer, J.M. Scott, J.V. Baumgartner, J.V. Higgins, M.W. Beck & M.G. Anderson (2002). Planning for biodiversity conservation: putting conservation science into practice. BioScience 52(6): 499–512.[0499:PFBCPC]2.0.CO;2

Hamli, H., A.A. Rahim, M.H. Idris, M.K.A. Hena & W.S. King (2015). Morphometric variation among three local mangrove clam species of Corbiculidae. Songklanakarin Journal of Science and Technology 37(1): 15–20.

Hamli, H., M.H. Idris, M.K.A. Hena, A. Rajaee & A. Arshad (2016). Inner shell as variation key of local hard clam Meretrix spp. Journal of Environmental Biologylogy 37(Special): 641–646.

Hamli, H., M.H. Idris, M.K.A. Hena & S.K. Wong (2012a). Diversity of edible mollusc (Gastropoda and Bivalvia) at selected divison of Sarawak, Malaysia. International Journal on Advanced Science, Engineering and Information Technology 2(4): 5–7.

Hamli, H., M.H. Idris, A.H. Rajaee, M.K.A. Hena & M.N. Hoque (2017). Condition index of Meretrix lyrata (Sowerby 1851) and its relationship with water parameter in Sarawak. Sains Malaysiana 46(4): 545–551.

Hamli, H., M.H. Idris, M.K.A. Hena & S.K. Wong (2012b). Taxonomic study of edible bivalve from selected division of Sarawak, Malaysia. International Journal of Zoological Research 8(1): 5258.

Hamli, H., N. Hashim & A. Al-Asif (2020). Isolation and potential culture of phytoplankton live feed for freshwater mussels Sinanodonta woodiana (Lea, 1834). Asian Journal of Animal Sciences 14(4): 127–136.

Huber, M. (2010). Compendium of Bivalves. A Full-color Guide to 3,300 of the World’s Marine Bivalves. A Status on Bivalvia after 250 Years of Research. ConchBooks, Hackenheim, 901 pp.

Huber, M. (2015). Compendium of Bivalves 2. A Full-color Guide to the Remaining Seven Families. A Systematic Listing of 8,500 Bivalve Species and 10,500 Synonyms. ConchBooks, Harxheim, 907 pp.

Idris, M.H., A. Arshad, S.M.N.N. Amin, S.B. Japar, S.K. Daud, A.G. Mazlan, M.S. Zakaria & F.M. Yusoff (2012). Age, growth and length-weight relationships of Pinna bicolor Gmelin (Bivalvia: Pinnidae) in the seagrass beds of Sungai Pulai Estuary, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 28(4): 597–600.

Idris, M.H., H. Hamli, M.K.A. Hena, R.A. Lah & N.M.S.N. Jaafar (2021). Study of diversity and morphometry in edible bivalves and gastropods from a coastal wetland in Sarawak. Songklanakarin Journal of Science and Technology 43(3): 889–896.

Işik, K. (2011). Rare and endemic species: Why are they prone to extinction? Turkish Journal of Botany 35(4): 411–417.

IUCN Bangladesh (2015). Red List of Bangladesh Volume 5: Freshwater Fishes. International Union for Conservation of Nature, Bangladesh Country Office, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 360 pp.

Jasin, B. (2015). Posidonomya ( Bivalvia ) from northwest peninsular Malaysia and its significance. Sains Malaysiana 44(2): 217–223.

Kabir, M.S.U., F. Arefin, M.M. Rahman, M.R.I. Sarder & M.F.A. Mollah (2018). Domestication of red fin mahseer (Tor tor) with supplementary feeds in captive condition in Bangladesh. Journal of the Bangladesh Agricultural University 16(3): 533–538.

Köhler, F., M. Seddon, A.E. Bogan, D.V. Tu, P. Sri-Aroon & D. Allen (2012). The status and distribution of freshwater molluscs of the Indo-Burma region pp. 66–89. In: Allen, D.J., K.G. Smith & W.R.T. Darwall (Eds.). The Status and Distribution of Freshwater Biodiversity in Indo-Burma. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Kumar, B. & R. Ravinesh (2016). Taxonomy of marine molluscs of India: status and challenges ahead, pp. 67–88. In: Bijoy Nandan, P., G. Oliver, P.R. Jayachandran & C.V. Asha (Eds.) Training manual -1st International training workshop on taxonomy of bivalve molluscs. Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kochi.

Lam, K. & B. Morton (2004). The oysters of Hong Kong (Bivalvia: Ostreidae and Gryphaeidae). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 52(1): 11–28.

Lee, C.H., D.K. Lee, M.A. Ali & P.J. Kim (2008). Effects of oyster shell on soil chemical and biological properties and cabbage productivity as a liming materials. Waste Management 28(12): 2702–2708.

Lopes-Lima, M., A. Teixeira, E. Froufe, A. Lopes, S. Varandas & R. Sousa (2014). Biology and conservation of freshwater bivalves: Past, present and future perspectives. Hydrobiologia 735(1): 1–13.

Lopes-Lima, M., L.E. Burlakova, A.Y. Karatayev, K. Mehler, M. Seddon & R. Sousa (2018). Conservation of freshwater bivalves at the global scale: Diversity, threats and research needs. Hydrobiologia 810(1): 1–14.

Martin, J.L., V. Maris & D.S. Simberloff (2016). The need to respect nature and its limits challenges society and conservation science. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113(22): 6105–6112.

Matsumoto, M.B., E. Saleh, Z. Waheed, S. Muhammad Ali & J. Madin (2017). Marine profiling of Marudu Bay, Sabah, Malaysia: Final Report. Sabah, 88 pp.

MolluscaBase (2021). Bivalvia. on 2021-08-10

Morni, W.Z.W., S.A.K.A. Rahim, T. Masron, R. Rumpet, J. Musel & R. Hassan (2017). Continental shelf sediments of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Scientific World Journal 2017(4853048): 1–10.

Morris, S. & R.D. Purchon (1981). The marine shelled mollusca of West Malaysia and Singapore part 3, Bivalvia. Journal of Molluscan Studies 47(2264): 322–327.

National Research Council (1992). Conserving Biodiversity: A Research Agenda for Development Agencies. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 138 pp.

Parvez, I., M.A. Alam, M.M. Hassan, Y. Ara, I. Hoshan & A.S.M. Kibria (2019). A checklist of fish species from three rivers in northwestern Bangladesh based on a seven-year survey. Journal of Threatened Taxa 11(6): 13786–13794.

Polson, M.P., W.E. Hewson, D.J. Eernisse, P.K. Baker & D.C. Zacherl (2009). You say conchaphila, I say lurida: Molecular evidence for restricting the Olympia Oyster (Ostrea lurida Carpenter 1864) to temperate western North America. Journal of Shellfish Research 28(1): 11–21.

Raven, J.G.M. (2019). Notes on molluscs from N.W. Borneo - dispersal of molluscs through nipa rafts. The Festivus 51(1): 3–10.

Reydon, T.A.C. (2019). Are species good units for biodiversity studies and conservation efforts? p. 452. In: Wolfe, C.T., P. Huneman & T.A.C. Reydon (Eds.). From Assessing to Conserving Biodiversity: Conceptual and Practical Challenges. Spinger.

Shabdin, M.L. (2010). Macrofauna of Rajang River, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation 7(1): 11–30.

Shabdin, M.L. & A. Alfred (2007). Commercial molluscs distribution of the western part of Sarawak. The Sarawak Museum Journal 63: 167–178.

Shabdin, M.L., A. Azizil, F. Abg, S. Atiqah & A. Rahim (2014). Marine gastropod and bivalves of Sampadi Island, Lundu, Sarawak, pp. 75–87. In: Proceedings of Aquatic Science Colloquium on Pulau Sampadi Marine Life Expedition. Department of Aquatic Science, Faculty of Resource Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Sarawak.

Shevade, V.S. & T.V. Loboda (2019). Oil palm plantations in Peninsular Malaysia: Determinants and constraints on expansion. PLoS ONE 14(2): e0210628.

Sowerby, G.B. III. (1909). Descriptions of new species of Terebra, Pleurotoma, Trochus, Tellina, Dosina, and Modiola. Proceedings of the Malacological Society of London 8(4): 198–201.

Olivier, A.V.D.S., L. Jones, L.L. Vay, M. Christie, J. Wilson & S.K. Malham (2020). A global review of the ecosystem services provided by bivalve aquaculture. Reviews in Aquaculture 12(1): 3–25.

Tëmkin, I. (2010). Molecular phylogeny of pearl oysters and their relatives (Mollusca, Bivalvia, Pterioidea). BMC Evolutionary Biology 10(1): 342.

Turgeon, D.D., W.G. Lyons, P. Mikkelsen, G. Rosenberg & F. Moretzsohn (2009). Bivalvia (Mollusca) of the Gulf of Mexico pp. 711–744. In: Felder, D.L. & D.K. Camp (Eds.). Gulf of Mexico–Origins, Waters, and Biota. Biodiversity. Texas A&M Press, Colleg.

Turner, R.D. & L.N. Santhakumaran (1989). The genera Martesia and Lignopholas in the indo-pacific (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Pholadidae). Ophelia 30(3): 155–186.

Vaughn, C.C. & T.J. Hoellein (2018). Bivalve impacts in freshwater and marine ecosystems. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 49: 183–208.

Venugopal, V. & K. Gopakumar (2017). Shellfish: Nutritive value, health benefits, and consumer safety. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety 16(6): 1219–1242.

Way, K. & R.D. Purchon (1981). The marine shelled mollusca of West Malaysia and Singapore Part 3, Bivalvia. Journal of Molluscan Studies (47): 313–321.

Wijsman, J.W.M., K. Troost, J. Fang & A. Roncarati (2019). Global production of marine bivalves. Trends and challenges pp. 1–26. In: Smaal, A., J. Ferreira, J. Grant, J. Petersen & Ø. Strand (Eds.). Goods and Services of Marine Bivalves. Springer, Cham.

Wong, N.L.W.S. & A. Arshad (2011). A brief review on marine shelled mollusca (Gastropoda and Bivalvia) record in Malaysia. Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science 6(7): 669–699.

WoRMS (2021). Bivalvia. on 2021-08-10

Zenetos, A., S. Gofas, M. Verlaque, M.E. Cinar, J.E. Garcia Raso, C.N. Bianchi, C. Morri, E. Azzurro, M. Bilecenoglu, C. Froglia, I. Siokou, D. Violanti, A. Sfriso, G. San Martin, A. Giangrande, T. Katagan, E. Ballesteros, A.A. Ramos-Espla, F. Mastrototaro, O. Ocana, A. Zingone, M.C. Gambi & N. Streftaris (2010). Alien species in the Mediterranean Sea by 2010. A contribution to the application of European Union’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). Part I. Spatial distribution. Mediterranean Marine Science 11(2): 381–493.

Zieritz, A. & M. Lopes-Lima (2018). Handbook and National Red-List of the Freshwater Mussels of Malaysia. IUCN, Kuala Lumpur, 1–29pp.

Zieritz, A., M. Lopes-Lima, A.E. Bogan, R. Sousa, S. Walton, K.A.A. Rahim, J.J. Wilson, P.Y. Ng, E. Froufe & S. McGowan (2016). Factors driving changes in freshwater mussel (Bivalvia, Unionida) diversity and distribution in Peninsular Malaysia. Science of the Total Environment 571: 1069–1078.

Zieritz, A., H.Taha, M. Lopes-Lima, J. Pfeiffer, K.W. Sing, Z. Sulaiman, S. McGowan & K.A. Khairul (2020). Towards the conservation of Borneo’s freshwater mussels: rediscovery of the endemic Ctenodesma borneensis and first record of the non-native Sinanodonta lauta. Biodiversity and Conservation 29(7): 2235–2253.