Description: As with all members of Family Tellinidae, on the outside the shell has no radial ribs and only fine concentric growth lines. The shell is about twice as long as high, and the anterior end of the shell is broader and more rounded than the pointed posterior end. The hinge ligament is external. The shell valves close together or nearly so on the posterior end. Inside the clam has two adductor muscle scars of almost equal size, a pallial sinus (photo), and two cardinal hinge teeth on each valve (photo). It has no chondrophores. Genus Tellina also has lateral hinge teeth, especially visible in the right valve. Tellina bodegensis has lateral teeth along with the cardinal teeth (photo) and no ridge just posterior to the anterior adductor muscle scar (photo). Shell is white outside, may have yellow or pink tinge inside. Length to 6 cm.
How to Distinguish from Similar Species:Tellina modesta has a ridge just posterior to the anterior adductor muscle and grows only up to about 2 cm long. This is the largest local Tellina. Macoma clams such as M. nasuta have no lateral hinge teeth. The posterior end of both this shell and M. nasuta turn slightly to the right (photo), but the turn in M. nasuta seems more marked.
Geographical Range: Southern Alaska to Bahia Magdalena, Baja California, Mexico
Depth Range: Intertidal to 100 m
Habitat: Exposed sandy shores.
is uncommon. The shell lies on its left side a few
the sand and extends its two separate siphons up into the
The long inhalant siphon moves around the surface of the sediment
up fine detritus. Predators include surf scoters.
Flora and Fairbanks, 1966
Kozloff, 1987, 1996
General Notes and Observations: Locations, abundances, unusual behaviors:
I have not often found this shell and it is said to be uncommon. In July 2014 there were many along the high-tide strand line at Mukkaw Bay, next to Hobuck Campground near Cape Flattery. The valves had a surprisingly wide range of thickness, from moderately thin and fragile to at least twice as thick.
Authors and Editors of
Salish Sea Invertebrates web site provided courtesy of Walla