Lasaea rubra is an inbreeding bivalve species, living at most heights on rocky shores. Freshly collected animals from different shore heights showed significantly different upper median lethal temperatures (MLTs), with upper shore animals having higher MLTs than lower shore specimens. Experiments with animals acclimated for at least one month to a single temperature (15°C) demonstrated that these differences in upper MLT were unaffected by thermal acclimation. Electrophoretic investigation showed that the differences in thermal response had a genetic basis. Homogeneous populations of the high-water inbred line (‘Inbred line A’) had a higher MLT than homogeneous populations of ‘Inbred line C’ which was found on the middle and lower shore. No differences were detected between the MLTs of separate populations of Inbred lines A or C. A third inbred line (‘Inbred line B’) was found on the middle shore, but no homogeneous populations were found. However, indirect evidence suggests that Inbred line B has a thermal response intermediate between those of Inbred lines A and C. Study of populations made up of mixtures of inbred lines confirmed the relationship between upper MLTs and genetic composition of the population.