Species Account

Arcopella balaustina (Linnaeus, 1758)

Tellinoidea : Tellinidae

Tebble name: Tellina (Arcopagia) balaustina (Linnaeus)
Smith & Heppell name: Arcopella balaustina (L., 1758)

Notes on Nomenclature

In CLEMAM and WoRMS as Arcopagia balaustina (Linnaeus 1758).
Tellina balaustina is the type species of Arcopella, the discrepant pallial sinus is sufficient to warrant separation from Arcopagia.

To size: To 19mm. Shell Structure: Thin, brittle. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Almost equilateral, beaks slightly to posterior. Tumidity: Not tumid. Outline: Almost subcircular, posterior dorsal margin slightly shorter than anterior sloping to a broadly rounded posterior margin, as does the anterior.

Sculpture: Thin, evenly spaced concentric ridges. Margin: Smooth. Ligament: External sunken mid-brown band just less than a third of length of posterior margin. Hinge: Two cardinals in each valve, LV anterior bifid, RV posterior bifid. Single anterior and posterior laterals in both valves. Pallial Musculature: Deep, tongue-shaped pallial sinus, not confluent with pallial line. Periostracum: Thin, transparent, satin. Colour: White with orange tinges internally. External may have pink or red-brown rays.

Distribution & Ecology

A deep burrower in silty sand. Restricted to the outer shelf and shelf edge, 150-500m depth. Along the western and northern edges of the shelf.

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)
Continental Margin Zone (200 - 500m)

Additional Information & Related Species

Juvenile Description

Juveniles are more angular, especially posterior.

Key Features & Similar Species

Arcopagia crassa is the only other subcircular tellin included here; it has a heavier shell with dense, closely spaced co-marginal ridges and the pallial sinus is the same size in both valves.

Related Species


Listed are literature citing Arcopella balaustina (Linnaeus, 1758). Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

Linnaeus C 1758. Systema Naturae. Editio decima. 1. Regnum Animale Holmiae, Laurentii Salvii. 824pp.


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Record last modified: 17/05/2016