Earlier attempts at a classification of the family Tellinidae are reviewed, and a classification of the family based on shell characters is proposed. These essential characters are the nature of the hinge teeth and the nature of the pallial sinus; characters of secondary importance are the shape of the shell, sculpture, relative position of the umbones and size of the shell.
The family is divided into fifteen genera, with ten of these being further divided into subgenera; all in all, 101 superspecific taxa are proposed, of which ten are new. Keys to the genera and almost all of the subgenera are provided.
A diagnosis of each genus and subgenus is given, together with bibliographic references, citation of the type-species, and geologic range of the taxon, and a description and figure of each type species.
In a supplement, the same information is given for twelve superspecific taxa proposed since the completion of the work by the author in 1952. Comments are given as to the probable location of these groups within the author’s classification.