Shell, Tellina laskeyi

Shells from George Montagu’s collection (syntypes).

Montagu described these specimens as Tellina laskeyi in Montagu G 1808. Supplement Testacea Britannica. p28-29, Tab. 28 fig 3.

Huber (2015) places this species in the synonymy of Moerella donacina but this is certainly in error.

Jeffreys (1863, p. 410) places it in the genus Donax. {“I have one of the original specimens (a single valve), owing to the kindness of my late friend Mr Dillwyn, who received it from Colonel Montagu. It is supposed to be a West-Indian shell; and there is no satisfactory evidence that it has ever been found in the British Seas, much less in the Firth of Forth.}

The shells have a resemblance to both Psammobiidae and Donacidae but the presence of lateral teeth, seen best in the right valve, supports the latter and agrees with Jeffreys. However, we cannot place this shell among the Caribbean fauna. It has the aspect of the genus Tentidonax (Rudo von Cosel pers. comm) but not a known West African species.

For more information see Oliver, P.G. et al. Type specimens of Mollusca described by Col. George Montagu in the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter and The Natural History Museum, London. Zoosystematics and Evolution 2018. This paper is open access.

In January 2020 the Montagu Collection was awarded Designated status by Arts Council England. This mark of distinction recognises the collection’s international significance to the scientific community - it is the most intact and taxonomically important collection of British shells of the early 19th century (1800-1816) to be found anywhere in the UK.
Accession Loan No.
Collection Class
Common Name
shell, Tellina laskeyi
Simple Name
mollusc: shell
Full Name
PSAMMOBIIDAE: ?Moerella donacina (Linnaeus, 1758)
Period Classification
George III (1760-1811)
Family Group

Collector / Excavator
Montagu, Colonel George (from the collection of)
Collection Country
West Indies
Collection Area Region
Collection Continent
Latin America and the Caribbean

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