PORT PHILLIP BAY


Little White Tellen 

Tellina albinella Lamarck, 1818

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

This large and diverse family is notable for shells with elegant shapes and beautiful colour patterns in radial rays, more frequently found among tropical species. Shells are from small to medium size, elongate to ovate or rotund in outline, may be rostrate or flexed posteriorly, vary from fragile to thick and solid, exterior smooth or with some sculpture, periostracum thin. Hinge narrow, two cardinals in each valve, laterals may or may not be present, ligament external. Adductor muscles more or less equal, pallial sinus deep. They are deposit feeders, with the gill surface area reduced and the labial palps enlarged.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Mollusca
Subphylum:
Conchifera
Class:
Bivalvia
Subclass:
Heterodonta
Order:
Veneroida
Superfamily:
Tellinoidea
Family:
Tellinidae
Genus:
Tellina
Species:
albinella

General Description

Coloured specimens of this thin glossy shell are among the prettier bivalves of the Victorian fauna. Valves are elongate, somewhat compressed, anterior rounded, posterior somewhat angular with a low ridge extending from the umbo to the posterior margin. Shell colour variable, specimens may be white, pink, orange. Sculpture is of fine concentric lines (striae). Shell up to 6 cm across.

Biology

These shells burrow deep into sand or mud, and in some locations are the dominant species. Their predators include bottom feeding fish such as flounder and whiting. They are deposit feeders.

Habitat

In sand, off ocean beaches, to depth of 10 m.

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

South-eastern Australia, excluding Tasmania.

Species Group

Sea snails and shells Bivalves

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

6 cm

Diet

Organic matter

Commercial Species

No

Species Code

MoV 925

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Boyd, S.

Sue Boyd is an Honorary Associate in marine invertebrates at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Boyd, S., 2011, Little White Tellen, Tellina albinella, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Nov 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5643

Text: creative commons cc by licence