BIOTIC Species Information for Lacuna vincta
Researched byAngus Jackson Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byDr John Grahame
General Biology
Growth formTurbinate
Feeding methodHerbivore
Environmental positionEpifaunal
Typical food typesDetritus, periphytic microalgae, macroalgae epidermis. HabitFree living
BioturbatorNot relevant FlexibilityNone (< 10 degrees)
FragilityRobust SizeSmall(1-2cm)
HeightInsufficient information Growth RateInsufficient information
Adult dispersal potential100-1000m DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional InformationLacuna is a northern genus and the British Isles are near the southern edge of the range of this species. Lacuna vincta is rare in France but in north-east England densities have been recorded at 300 per square metre. In eastern Canada over 1,500 have been recorded per square metre. Adults die after spawning and very few can be found on the shore after April ( in southern Britain). The population is at a maximum in July (in southern Britain). Immediately after metamorphosis the young snail is about 0.55mm high. The brown bands on the shell develop following settlement. There is a very slight but not conclusive sexual dimorphism with the females being slightly larger. As the snail eats, the radula becomes worn down. Teeth are replaced through new growth. The form of the teeth varies depending on what the snail typically feeds on. This is important for determining feeding effectiveness. Sharp teeth are used for rasping and eating macroalgae whereas broader blunter teeth are used for scraping microalgae from the surface of plants. They do not graze algal film on rocks like the similar winkles.
Biology References Hayward et al., 1996, Graham, 1988, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Martel & Chia, 1991a, Padilla et al., 1996, Fretter & Graham, 1994, Fretter & Manly, 1977, Grahame, 1977,
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