Background: Trace elements present in sessile molluscs, are important because they are used in human con-sumption and it has significantly increased in recent years. While their filtering of the water can lead to their build-up of organic and inorganic materials that can be sampled and analyzed, this can also lead to bio-accumulation of harmful substances, such as essential and non-essential elements, that can harm the human health if in taken in high concentrations or for a long period of time. Methods: In the present study, the trace metal content (Al, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) of two sessile crustaceans, 20 Mytilus galloprovincialis (mussel) and 20 Tapes decussatus (clam) in Faro and Ganzirri Lakes (Messina, Sicily, Italy) were analyzed. Haemolymph samples were taken on both molluscs in order to analyze the haemocyte population by flow cytometric analysis. Unpaired t-tests were used to determine significant differ-ences for the essential and non-essential metallic elements concentrations in the lake waters and in the tissues of M. galloprovincialis and T. decussatus and for hemocyte populations R1 (halinocytes) and R2 (granulocytes). Results: The results suggested that that in Faro Lake, the tissue Al, Cr and Pb levels in M. galloprovincialis were higher than those for T. decussatus, in contrast to Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn and Cd, which were higher in T. decussatus. Unpaired t-tests showed that there were significantly higher proportions of halinocytes in M. galloprovincialis versus T. decussatus for both Faro Lake (41.8 % vs. 24.3 %; P < 0.001) and Ganzirri Lake (43.0 % vs. 22.4 %; P < 0.001). In contrast, while there were significantly higher proportions of granulocytes in Faro Lake (21.2 % vs. 9.1 %; P < 0.001), this difference was not seen for the granulocytes of M. galloprovincialis versus T. decussatus in Ganzirri Lake (9.6 % vs. 13.0 %). Conclusion: This study shows that M. galloprovincialis and T. decussatus can indeed bioaccumulate some of these metal, such that activation of the immune responses is specific to certain cell types. Future research must focus on the balance of trace elements in the consumption of these shellfish, and analyzes with more sophisticated tools can be used to diagnose the increased concentration of trace elements and the quantification of trace metals from shellfish to clams.