Tellina bodegensis Hinds, 1845

Common name(s):  Bodega tellin, Bodega clam

Synonyms: Moerella bodegensis, Tellina santarosae Left valve
Subclass Heterodonta 
Order Veneroida 
Superfamily Tellinoida 
Tellina bodegensis, view of left valve.  Length 5 cm.  Found on beach at Mukkaw Bay near Cape Flattery
(Photo by: Dave Cowles, July 2014 )

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 TellinaMacoma 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.

Biology/Natural History:  This species is uncommon.  The shell lies on its left side a few centimeters under the sand and extends its two separate siphons up into the water.  The long inhalant siphon moves around the surface of the sediment vacuuming up fine detritus.  Predators include surf scoters.



Dichotomous Keys:
  Carlton, 2007
  Flora and Fairbanks, 1966
  Kozloff, 1987, 1996

General References:
  Harbo, 1997
  Lamb and Hanby, 2005
  Morris, 1966
  Morris et al., 1980
  Sept, 1999

Scientific Articles:

Web sites:

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.

This view of the interior (anterior is to the left) shows the general shell shape, the adductor muscle scars and pallial sinus, and the slight yellow cast present in some shells.  Although these two
clams are just slightly different in length they differ sharply in thickness.  The ventral edge of the shell to the left is 0.7 mm thick, while the same region in the shell to the right is 2.7 mm thick.

Anterior adductor muscle scar
The anterior adductor muscle scar does not have a ridge just posterior to it.  The anterior end of the shell is to the left in this photo.

Hinge teeth
There are two cardinal hinge teeth on each valve, plus at least one lateral tooth.  The lateral tooth is most easily seen on the right valve (bottom valve in this photo).  Anterior is to the left.

Ventral view
This ventral view (anterior end down, right valve to the right) shows the slight rightward bend to the anterior and especially the posterior end of the shell.  The clam lies on its side in the sediment with the right valve upwards and extends its siphons up from there.  Compare the curvature of this species' shell to that of Macoma nasuta.

Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2014):  Created original page
CSS coding for page developed by Jonathan Cowles (2007)

Salish Sea Invertebrates web site provided courtesy of Walla Walla University