BIOTIC Species Information for Tellina fabula
Researched byWill Rayment Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
General Biology
Growth formBivalved
Feeding methodSurface deposit feeder
Active suspension feeder
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
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.

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,
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