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  • José H. Leal

Shell of the Week: The Elliptical Sportella

Basterotia elliptica (Récluz, 1850) is one of the rarest species of bivalves in our area. The Museum collection only houses only one valve (half-shell) of the species! This non-descript “little white clam” grows to be around 10 mm (about 0.4 inches), and is very similar its locally found, “sister” species, the Square Sportella (presented last week in this column.) The Elliptical Sportella, however, has a more elongate shell (not necessarily “elliptical’!) The slightly damaged valve illustrated was collected in 2017 by Susan Hewitt at Turner Beach on Captiva Island.


The Elliptical Sportella, Basterotia elliptica, from Captiva. Photo by José H. Leal.

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