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Posted: Mar 3 2009

 Laciolina magna (Spengler, 1798), Great Tellin

Here is a T. magna 49.6x91mm that came from Blind Pass (between Sanibel and Captiva Island, Lee County, FL), I think back in the 60's while they were having some dredging done. I also have a pink rayed one.

On March 4, 2009 I posted the following request on Conch-L:

"L. magna is Florida's largest Tellin. In 20 years of collecting in Florida I've never found one. So, in order to do a presentation of this shell Karen VanderVen generously supplied specimens. However, she too had not found samples in Florida.

I'd like to hear from collectors who have actually collected this shell in Florida with locality data and color variations that can be added to the presentation."

The following responses provided first-hand collecting information for T. magna:

Peggy Williams, shell collector and guide for shell collecting trips, indicated:

"I have found 3 or 4 T. magna on the west coast of Florida: one in the Gulf off Key West (to the north, at Marvin Key), the rest at 50 foot depth off Sarasota & Manatee Counties. All of them have a solid orange right valve and pure white left valve. I also have specimens from Eleuthera and Chub Cay in the Bahamas, with no hint of orange on them at all."

Ken Piech wrote:

"I have only ever found one of these specimens. As with Karen, it was on Eleuthera, a 93mm specimen live in intertidal sand."

Rich Goldberg, Worldwide Specimen Shells, reported:

"I found specimens in Calda Channel, north of Key West that were orange to pure white, and white with pink rays. All were in depths of 10 to 15 feet on white sand. Only a handful of live specimens were found by all four of us in the boat. Many single valves were found though; one almost five inches. Another interesting aspect of the day we collected these. Almost 3/4's of all the single valves (40 or 50 valves among us) were the left valve. I wonder what the probability of that happening in any other location?"  Rich's specimens are pictured above.

Linda Brunner from the Florida panhandle wrote:

"We find T. magna here after storms at Mexico Beach (Bay County) and Indian Pass Beach (Gulf County). We find white and the one valve orange as well."

Karen Vanderven:

In addition to my Eleuthera specimens, I used to find single valves at the foot of wrecks off Fort Lauderdale. I'd bring them all up and try to pair them up. I'd usually get several pairs this way. They weren't in great condition, but still...

On Navarre Beach in FL, maybe 4 years or so ago, I found a number of single valves on the beach ! None however matched up.

Susan J. Hewitt:

During my December 2014 visit to Sanibel, at Blind Pass on the Captiva side, I found a fresh-looking fragment of this species, the entire hinge line of one valve with a little bit of shell attached to it. There was a major beach re-nourishment project there almost a year ago.

I also know that Pam Rambo of Sanibel found a single valve of this species on Sanibel Lighthouse Beach a few years ago, after a big storm. I've examined it and it definitely is this species.


Here is another Florida L. Magna found on 1/25/2015 by May Vesely on the beach at Three Rooker Island. 4.5" across.

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