Alternate Tellin (Tellina alternata Say, 1822)

Alternate Tellin
Tellina alternata Say, 1822

Alternate Tellin:
A Lengthy Siphon

By Patricia B. Mitchell.

An Alternate Tellin may reach a length of 3 inches. The shell is oblong with parallel concentric lines, and is usually white. An angular ridge (almost like a soft wrinkle) runs from the beaks to the posterior margin (or edge). The shell has two little teeth in the hinge under the beak.

The mollusk is a bivalve which lives in shallow water. It can burrow far down in the sand because it feeds through a long siphon which it can extend several times the length of its shell. It may dwell from North Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico.


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