This study reports the morphometric relationships and relative growth of 20 uncommon bivalve species collected along the Algarve coast (southern Portugal). Morphometric relationships were established between three linear variables (shell length, height and width) and one ponderal variable (total weight) and the relative growth between variables (isometry vs allometry) was analysed in order to assess their variation throughout ontogeny. In addition, morphometric indices (elongation, compactness, convexity and density) based on ratios of those linear and ponderal variables were calculated in order to further characterize morphologically the bivalve species. A total of 2512 individuals belonging to nine bivalve families were analysed, comprising specimens with broad ranges in both shell length (11.8–109.0 mm SL) and total weight (0.2–354.6 g TW). All morphometric relationships were highly significant (P < 0.001) and displayed invariably high correlation coefficients (r = 0.727–0.998). Among a total of 60 morphometric relationships, 27 isometries, 25 positive allometries and 8 negative allometries were registered. The morphometric indices displayed a remarkable variation among taxa, reflecting the high morphological diversity of these miscellaneous bivalve species. Discriminant analysis provided a spatial visualization of the species morphometric variables that further evidenced their main shape features, the distinctness between some species and families (e.g. Pharidae and Cardiidae) and the morphological resemblance among some species belonging to other families (e.g. Veneridae and Tellinidae). Overall, this information is useful and has practical application in diverse research fields, including studies on systematics and taxonomy, physiology, biology, ecology, fisheries assessment and management.