Behavior and Ecology of Conch (Superfamily Strombacea) on a Deep Subtidal Algal Plain
Abstract:The deep subtidal algal plain off Puerto Rico supports a large gastropod fauna consisting of Strombus costatus, S. gallus, S. raninus, Xenophora conchyliophora, Astraea phoebia and numerous smaller species. Large hermit crabs are more abundant than the snails and inhabit species of gastropod shells in proportions different from that of the snail population.
Field studies of the behavior and ecology of Xenophora conchyliophora and Strombus gallus, made from an undersea habitat, revealed close similarities between the species. Individuals of both species actively "leap" around the plain, grazing on macroalgae throughout the day and night. Strombids right their overturned shells with a "kick" at the substratum and "leap" backward away from predators. Xenophorids exhibit neither response, rather they slowly "pull" their shells over when they are overturned and withdraw into the shells when disturbed. Additional observations were made of the behavior, including reproduction, of S. gigas, S. costatus, and S. raninus.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1975-07-01
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