The Speckled Tellin
The Speckled Tellin, Tellinella listeri (Röding, 1798), is one of the local species living off the Gulf beaches of Southwest Florida. Measuring about 2 inches, the elegant, elongate shell, with its tent-like and zig-zag markings and subtle maroon and brown shades, is one of the most attractive bivalves in our area. Tellins have different left and right valves; use your imagination to envision this bivalve shell as a fish, with the posterior (pointed) end as the fish tail. Tellins would be fishes with flexed, or bent tails. These bent shells reflect their life habit of burrowing horizontally, “laying flat” deep in the sand, with the posterior end (the “tail”) bent up.
The Speckled Tellin, Tellinella listeri (Röding, 1798).