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Phylum Mollusca > Class Bivalvia
Tellin clams
Family Tellinidae
updated May 2020
Where seen? The clam or its empty shells are sometimes seen on some of our shores. Elsewhere, they are active burrowers in soft bottoms where they may be found in dense communities.

What are tellin clams? Tellin clams belong to Family Tellinidae.

Features: About 5cm. Tellin clams have a two-part shell. They are specialised for deep burrowing and generally have narrow thin shells, a wide blade-like foot and long siphons to reach the surface. Tellin clams also have the haemoglobin which give the animal a bright red color. The shells of some Tellin clam species can be quite colourful.

What do they eat? Unlike other bivalves filter feed, Tellin clams use their long siphons like vacuum cleaners to suck up edible bits that settle on the bottom. They do this while their shells are safely tucked away deep in the ground, often in a horizontal position.

Human uses: Some are collected for food and the shell trade.

Pulau Semakau, Mar 05

Pulau Semakau, Apr 11

Tellin clams on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

Pulau Hantu, May 19
Photo shared by Joleen Chan on facebook.

St. John's Island, Jul 09
Photo shared by Geraldine Lee on her blog.

Family Tellinidae recorded for Singapore
from Tan Siong Kiat and Henrietta P. M. Woo, 2010 Preliminary Checklist of The Molluscs of Singapore.
+Other additions (Singapore Biodiversity Record, etc)

  Family Tellinidae
  Arcopagia pinguis

Jactellina hungerfordi

Macalia bruguieri

Macoma fallax

Pharaonella rostrata

+Quidnipagus palatum

Scutarcopagia linguafelis
Scutarcopagia scobinata

Tellina capsoides
Tellina emarginata
Tellina remies
Tellina rhodon
Tellina robusta
Tellina scalpellum
Tellina spengleri
Tellina staurella
+Tellinides timorensis
Tellina virgata

Tellinella pulcherrima

Links References
  • Tan Siong Kiat & Martyn E. Y. Low. 13 December 2013. Two new Singapore records of the bivalve family Tellinidae: Quidnipagus palatum, Tellinides timorensis. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2013: 116-117.
  • Tan Siong Kiat and Henrietta P. M. Woo, 2010 Preliminary Checklist of The Molluscs of Singapore (pdf), Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore.
  • Tan, K. S. & L. M. Chou, 2000. A Guide to the Common Seashells of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 160 pp.
  • Wee Y.C. and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore. National Council on the Environment. 163pp.
  • Ng, P. K. L. & Y. C. Wee, 1994. The Singapore Red Data Book: Threatened Plants and Animals of Singapore. The Nature Society (Singapore), Singapore. 343 pp.
  • Abbott, R. Tucker, 1991. Seashells of South East Asia. Graham Brash, Singapore. 145 pp.
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