Lives in mud, with stones and shells, but prefers muddy bottoms,from the intertidal zone to a depth of 10 m of estuaries or lagoons.Depend on plankton and micro-organisms that are carried along the bottom by currents for food before and during spawning to furnish sufficient energy to ripen the gonads.
Originate from the northeastern American coast from Nova Scotia to Yucatan. It was accidentally introduced into Europe around 1860. Artificially introduced again around 1950. Now, a few colonies live in the British Isles, The Netherlands, Belgium and France to Atlantic coast of Portugal and Morocco. In the Mediterranean Sea; Sicily and high Adriatic Sea.