BIOTIC Species Information for Tellina fabula
Click here to view the MarLIN Key Information Review for Tellina fabula
Researched byWill Rayment Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Taxonomy
Scientific nameTellina fabula Common nameBean-like tellin
MCS CodeW2019 Recent SynonymsTellina fabula

PhylumMollusca Subphylum
Superclass ClassPelecypoda
Subclass OrderVeneroida
SuborderTellinacea FamilyTellinidae
GenusTellina Speciesfabula
Subspecies   

Additional InformationSynonymous with Fabulina
Taxonomy References Fish & Fish, 1996, Tebble, 1976, Hayward et al., 1996, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b,
General Biology
Growth formBivalved
Feeding methodSurface deposit feeder
Active suspension feeder
Mobility/MovementBurrower
Environmental positionInfaunal
Typical food typesPhytoplankton, detritus HabitBurrow dwelling
Bioturbator FlexibilityNone (< 10 degrees)
FragilityIntermediate SizeSmall(1-2cm)
HeightInsufficient information Growth RateSee additional information
Adult dispersal potential100-1000m DependencyIndependent
SociabilitySolitary
Toxic/Poisonous?No
General Biology Additional InformationAbundance
Salzwedel (1979) studied a population of Fabulina fabula (studied as Tellina fabula) from the German Bight. Peak abundance (ca 2000 individuals/m²) occurred in September following the main period of spatfall and then decreased to a minimum in February (ca 500 individuals/m²), at which point settlement began to occur again. The mean annual abundance was approximately 1000 individuals/m². Lopez-Jamar et al. (1995) reported the mean abundance of Fabulina fabula (studied as Tellina fabula) from La Coruna Bay in NW Spain to be 897 individuals/m², with a maximum abundance of 1871/m². Warwick et al. (1978) studied the Venus community from very fine sand in Carmarthen Bay, Bristol Channel. They reported Fabulina fabula (studied as Tellina fabula) densities of 80 individuals/m² and biomass of 340 mg/m².

Size at maturity
Salzwedel (1979) reported the smallest specimen with recognizable sex to be 7.7 mm long, but that typically the gonads were not fully developed until shell length had reached 10 mm.

Growth rate
Growth rate of Fabulina fabula appears to be highly dependent on environmental conditions. Withers (1977) recorded spatfall of Fabulina fabula (studied as Tellina fabula) at Oxwich in Wales. 14 months after settlement, individuals had grown to lengths between 5.5 mm and 11 mm. However, growth may not be so rapid and Muus (1973) described Fabulina fabula from Øresund as attaining lengths of 3-4.5 mm after 21 months. Under laboratory conditions, Salzwedel (1979) recorded maximum growth of Fabulina fabula (studied as Tellina fabula) to be 10.3 mm in one year or 15.7 mg of dry tissue weight. Mean daily growth over the course of a year was a 0.40% increase in shell length. Salzwedel (1979) also noted 3 annual minima in growth rates which corresponded with the growth rings on the outside of the shell.

Feeding
Fabulina fabula is capable of both suspension feeding and deposit feeding. Salzwedel (1979) observed feeding behaviour in the laboratory. While suspension feeding, the inhalant siphon is held a few mm above the sediment surface and sucks in suspended particles. While deposit feeding, the inhalant siphon is bent over toward the sediment surface, sucking up detritus and sand grains more or less unselectively. Salzwedel (1979) made the suggestion that Fabulina fabula is solely a suspension feeder up until the age of 1.5 yr., after which it changes between feeding methods according to environmental conditions. Whilst in the laboratory, the species was fed on a mixed culture of the unicellular green alga Dunaliella marina and the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum.

Biology References Fish & Fish, 1996, Tebble, 1976, Hayward et al., 1996, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Warwick et al., 1978, Lopez-Jamar et al., 1995, Salzwedel, 1979, Withers, 1977, Muus, 1973,
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandOccurs on all British and Irish coasts.
Global distributionOccurs from Norway and the Baltic Sea, south to the Iberian Peninsula, the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and Atlantic coast of Morocco.
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth rangelower shore to 55 m
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional Information

Substratum preferencesFine clean sand
Muddy sand
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Offshore seabed
Enclosed coast / Embayment
Biological zoneMid Eulittoral
Lower Eulittoral
Sublittoral Fringe
Upper Infralittoral
Lower Infralittoral
Upper Circalittoral
Lower Circalittoral
Wave exposureVery Exposed
Exposed
Moderately Exposed
Sheltered
Tidal stream strength/Water flowStrong (3-6 kn)
Moderately Strong (1-3 kn)
Weak (<1 kn)
SalinityVariable (18-40 psu)
Full (30-40 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Fish & Fish, 1996, Tebble, 1976, Hayward et al., 1996, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Warwick et al., 1978, Salzwedel, 1979, JNCC, 1999, Seaward, 1990, Picton & Costello, 1998, Ansell et al., 1980,
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeGonochoristic
Developmental mechanismPlanktotrophic
Reproductive SeasonMarch to September Reproductive LocationInsufficient information
Reproductive frequencyAnnual protracted Regeneration potential No
Life span3-5 years Age at reproductive maturity1-2 years
Generation time1-2 years FecundityInsufficient information
Egg/propagule sizeInsufficient information Fertilization typeInsufficient information
Larvae/Juveniles
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potential>10km Larval settlement periodInsufficient information
Duration of larval stage11-30 days   
Reproduction Preferences Additional InformationSalzwedel (1979) observed the reproductive cycle of a population of Fabulina fabula (studied as Tellina fabula) from the German Bight. The first spawning occurred in March and the first spatfall occurred in April/May. The main spawning period was in July/August with the peak in spatfall being between July and September. Individuals that spawned in March also spawned again later in the year, whilst individuals that spawned for the first time in the summer spawned only once in the year. Spawning resulted in a mean weight loss of 23%.
Development after settlement appears to be highly dependent on environmental conditions. Withers (1977) recorded spatfall of Fabulina fabula (studied as Tellina fabula) at Oxwich in Wales. 14 months after settlement, individuals had grown to lengths between 5.5 mm and 11 mm. In contrast, post settlement individuals from the Øresund took 21 months to reach 3-4.5 mm in length (Muus, 1973). Salzwedel (1979) reported that Fabulina fabula reached maturity at a shell length of 10 mm. Given the above growth rates, it would appear that maturity could be reached in one year for fast growing individuals in warmer climates but may take 2 years or more for populations in colder water.
Salzwedel (1979) reported annual mortality of Fabulina fabula of 41% in the laboratory versus 82-96% in situ. The difference was attributed to the impacts of predation and substratum erosion in the natural environment.
Reproduction References Fish & Fish, 1996, Tebble, 1976, Warwick et al., 1978, Lopez-Jamar et al., 1995, Salzwedel, 1979, Bosselmann, 1991, Bosselmann, 1988, Bosselmann, 1989,
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