Species Account

Tellina (Moerella) donacina Linnaeus, 1758

Tellinoidea : Tellinidae

Tebble name: Tellina (Moerella) donacina (Linnaeus)
Smith & Heppell name: Moerella donacina (L., 1758)

To size: To 26mm. Shell Structure: Thin, solid. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Inequilateral, beaks behind midline. Tumidity: Not tumid. Outline: Narrowly ovate, wedge-shaped, posterior region half the length of the anterior region. Posterior margin beak-shaped, anterior margin broadly rounded.

Sculpture: Concentric growth lines and fine lines. Margin: Smooth. Ligament: Mid-brown arched band extending over a third the way to posterior margin. Hinge: 2 cardinals in each valve. In LV anterior bifid, posterior weak. In RV posterior bifid anterior short. In RV 1 posterior and 1 anterior lateral, in LV 1 anterior and 1 posterior lateral; both weak. Pallial Musculature: Pallial sinus very deep almost rectangular shaped, anterior point almost reaching anterior adductor. It is confluent with the pallial line for much of its length. Cruciform muscle scars visible. Periostracum: Thin, satin. Colour: White/cream/pale yellow with radial rays of pink, sometimes worn so that looks like just concentric lines are pink.

Distribution & Ecology

A burrower in fine silty sands and shell gravels with a silty component. Lives from the low intertidal to the outer shelf. Recorded from all coasts but rare or absent from much of the North Sea.

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)

Additional Information & Related Species

Key Features & Similar Species

Externally the narrowly subovate outline, subacute posterior and co-marginal ridged sculpture are sufficient to isolate this species from other tellins. Tellina donacina and T. pygmaea are the only subovate tellins with posterior lateral teeth. The more rounded posterior outline is typical of T. pygmaea as is the pallial sinus which is not as deep with the point of confluence at the midline.

Related Species


Listed are literature citing Tellina (Moerella) donacina 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: 11/05/2016