Stout Tagelus (Tagelus plebeius Lightfoot, 1786)

Stout Tagelus
Tagelus plebeius Lightfoot, 1786

I'm a Little Tagelus, Short and Stout

By Patricia B. Mitchell.

Stout Tagelus are members of the family Psammobiidae. Shells in that family, of which there are various genera and species, are called Gari Shells. All the Gari have very long siphons and live mostly in warm seas.

Sometimes shells of dead Tagelus rise, in a vertical position, to the surface of the sandy mud in which they lived, looking like little monuments.

When you find a dead Stout Tagelus shell washed ashore, the surface is likely to be a dull, chalky, whitish color. (When the bivalve is alive the shell halves have a thin brownish-yellow covering, the periostracum.)

These shells may reach a length of 4 inches. They are about an inch wide and have very slightly elevated beaks which are located near the middle of the shell's margin. Tiny lines run concentrically from the beak outward.

Stout Tagelus live in deep burrows in the ocean from Massachusetts to the Gulf, and to Brazil.


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