Spiratina. (Rehder, 1981)is found in brackish water marshes and can be found on marsh grass living at or above the water level. It is usually associated with marsh plants in the genus
- Habitat Regions
- saltwater or marine
- Range length
- 19 to 32 mm
- 0.75 to 1.26 in
Nothing was documented about the species but about the genus. In a closely related species, Littorina littorea, the embryo hatches as a veliger larva. The planktonic distributive larval stage has been eclipsed. Littorina neritoides and L. littorea eggs are set free singly into the plankton hatching as veligers. In L. littoralis, the eggs are laid in gelatinous layers attached to the substratum, hatching at the crawling stage. In L. saxatlis, the young merge at the crawling stage as viviparous forms and the young remain protected within the maternal body. In L. angulifera, a veliger larva is expelled. (Purchon, 1968)
Information is not known.
Most of what is known about reproduction is for the genus Littorina. In some species of Littorina, the males are not only smaller than the females but their shell has a more elongated spire and narrow aperture. In this genus fertilization occurs internally. The delivery of the spermatozoa into the mantle city of the female would be rendered more efficient if the ciliated pathway were extended on to a projection from the body of the male. It is natural, therefore, that a penis bearing a lateral ciliated seminal groove should develop on the right side of the male. In many mesogastropods and in the hermaphrodites in which exchange of sperm cannot be reciprocal since male and female aperture are widely separate, the partners orientate themselves in the same direction and the male may the female, settle on the right side of the body, and even be carried about by her, as in Littorina spp. Some Littorina spp. (e.g. L. littorea, L. neritoides) have pelagic capsules extruded from an ovipositor situated near the genital aperture in a position comparable to that of the penis. Here the capsule receives its final form and its outer layers harden the contact with seawater. The ventral wall of the pallial oviduct usually fails to develop glands and so provides an easy pathway for the sperm. The female is known to produce floating egg capsules. (Rehder, 1981; Wilbur and Vonge, 1964)
Females lay eggs and no parental investment is involved thereafter.
- Parental Investment
When the tide is out,withdraws into its shell which may remain dry and exposed to the sun for hours. This snail is usually found on marsh grass where it leaves a mucus trail.
- Key Behaviors
Communication and Perception
The eye structure ofhave been described. Eyes are lateral to the cephalic tentacle. The animal is able to detect light and motion.
Experiments found the snails preferred vertical bars over horizontal bars, suggesting they can see and sense plant stems, where they are usually found in nature. Another study found (Duval, et al., 1994; Hamilton, 1982; Hamilton, et al., 1983)positively reponds to plant odors found in its environment.
- Communication Channels
Spiratina species. Members of the genus Littorina are known to move in response to chemical emanation from food at a distance. (Andrews, 1981; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Environmental Protection Agency, 2004; Purchon, 1968; Wilbur and Vonge, 1964)is an herbivore that feeds mainly on algae. It grazes over the surface of marsh grass, usually
- Plant Foods
- Other Foods
When predators are removed, periwinkles feed heavily and negatively impact Spartina, a marsh plant. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Environmental Protection Agency, 2004)
- Ecosystem Impact
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Periwinkles are sensitive to toxic agents and are used for toxicology studies. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Environmental Protection Agency, 2004)
- Positive Impacts
- research and education
Renee Sherman Mulcrone (editor).
Abel Munoz (author), Troy Ladine (editor), East Texas Baptist University.
- Atlantic Ocean
the body of water between Africa, Europe, the southern ocean (above 60 degrees south latitude), and the western hemisphere. It is the second largest ocean in the world after the Pacific Ocean.
living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
helps break down and decompose dead plants and/or animals
- brackish water
areas with salty water, usually in coastal marshes and estuaries.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
the nearshore aquatic habitats near a coast, or shoreline.
an animal that mainly eats decomposed plants and/or animals
particles of organic material from dead and decomposing organisms. Detritus is the result of the activity of decomposers (organisms that decompose organic material).
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
an area where a freshwater river meets the ocean and tidal influences result in fluctuations in salinity.
union of egg and spermatozoan
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
having a body temperature that fluctuates with that of the immediate environment; having no mechanism or a poorly developed mechanism for regulating internal body temperature.
- internal fertilization
fertilization takes place within the female's body
- intertidal or littoral
the area of shoreline influenced mainly by the tides, between the highest and lowest reaches of the tide. An aquatic habitat.
marshes are wetland areas often dominated by grasses and reeds.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
- saltwater or marine
mainly lives in oceans, seas, or other bodies of salt water.
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
uses sight to communicate
Andrews, J. 1981. A field guide: Texas shells. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Duval, M., A. Calzetta, D. Rittschof. 1994. Behavioral responses of Littorina irrorata (SAY) to water-borne odors. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 20: 3321-3334.
Emerson, W., M. Jacobson. 1976. American The Museum of Natural History: guide to shells: land, freshwater and marine, from Nova Scotia to Florida. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
Graça, M., S. Newell, R. Kneib. 2000. Grazing rates of organic matter and living fungal biomass of decaying Spartina alterniflora by three species of salt-marsh invertebrates. Marine Biology, 136: 281-289.
Hamilton, P. 1982. Behavioral responses to visual stimuli by the snail, Littorina irrorata. Animal Behaviour, 30: 752-760.
Hamilton, P. 1976. Predation on Littorina irrorata by Callinectes sapidus (Crustacea: Portunidae). Bulletin of Marine Science, 26: 403-409.
Hamilton, P., S. Ardizzoni, J. Penn. 1983. Eye structure and optics in the intertidal snail Littorina irrorata. Journal of Comparative Physiology: A. Sensory neural and behavioral physiology, 152: 435-446.
Henry, R., A. Williams, C. McBride. 1993. Responses of the marsh periwinkle, Littoraria (littorina) irrorata to temperature, salinity and desiccation, and the potential physiological relationship to climbing behavior. Marine Behavior and Physiology, 24: 45-54.
Hyman, L. 1967. The invertebrates. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, , Environmental Protection Agency. 2004. "Periwinkle (Littorina irrorata)" (On-line). N. C. Plant and Animal Species Fact Sheets. Accessed January 03, 2005 at http://www.estuaries.gov/pdf/Periwinkle.pdf.
Pechnik, J. 2000. Biology of the invertebrates. Boston: McGraw-Hill Book Company.
Purchon, R. 1968. The biology of the Mollusca. London: Pergamon Press.
Rehder, H. 1981. The Audubon Society field guide to North America seashells. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
Snyder, R. 2001. "Salt Marsh Molluscs" (On-line). Flora and Fauna of Northwest Florida. Accessed December 22, 2004 at http://www.uwf.edu/rsnyder/ffnwf/salmars/saltmollusc.html.
Whitelaw, D. 2000. "Prey availability for the diamondback terrapin population of Milford Marsh, Connecticut" (On-line). Research Conducted at the University of New Haven, Connecticut, 1999. Accessed January 03, 2005 at http://journal.conncoll.edu/~dmwhi/milfordpaper.html.
Wilbur, K., C. Vonge. 1964. Physiology of Mollusca. New York: Academic Press.