The Azorean seabed is depauperate in terms of bivalve species richness, there being only between ~70 and 80 recorded to date, most being sub-tidal and generally lacking of specialists. Analysis of large numbers (>3200) of Azorean bivalve shells has revealed that, overall, each species is only ~50% the shell length size of Mediterranean conspecifics. Thus, although Azorean bivalve size may be a consequence of decreasing latitude (Bergmann's Rule), the islands are located at approximately the same latitude as the Mediterranean (and are influenced by those waters) where larger conspecifics occur. Hence, the main reason for bivalve dwarfism in the archipelago appears to result from low oceanic productivity (Foster's Rule). This, in turn, is associated with low diversity, possibly resulting from past extinctions and isolation, and low population sizes, except for Ervilia castanea, which here overwhelmingly occupies higher-energy inshore habitats and associated higher productivities. Nevertheless, this species too is dwarfed by mainland conspecifics. Similarly, the introduced Venerupis decussata, found solely within the lagoonal environment of Fajã de Santo Cristo on São Jorge, is somewhat smaller than its mainland conspecifics, although it is abundant enough to warrant artisanal exploitation. This study therefore, supports Foster's Rule and argues for the role of nutrient deficiency in regulating Azorean species richness and individual maximum size. In waters of locally higher productivities, however, population densities increase, but not size.