BIOTIC Species Information for Crepidula fornicata
Researched byWill Rayment Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byDr Frédérique Viard
General Biology
Growth formTurbinate
Feeding methodActive suspension feeder
Permanent attachment
Environmental positionEpibenthic
Typical food typesPhytoplankton and particulate organic food HabitAttached
Bioturbator FlexibilityNone (< 10 degrees)
FragilityRobust SizeSmall-medium(3-10cm)
HeightInsufficient information Growth Rate0.04-1.11 mm/day
Adult dispersal potential10-100m DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional InformationAbundance
In the Bay of Marennes-Oleron, France, Crepidula fornicata was found in a wide range of sediment grain sizes and depths. Maximum abundance and biomass reached 4770 individuals per m² and 354 g of dry weight per m² respectively in shallow muddy areas (De Montaudouin & Sauriau, 1999). Crepidula fornicata also occurs at "moderate" density, for example in the Arcachon Basin (De Montaudouin et al., 2001).

Size at maturity
Due to the protandrous hermaphroditic life-cycle of Crepidula fornicata, size at maturity is difficult to ascertain. Warne(1956), cited in Fretter & Graham (1981), reported size at maturity to be 4 mm but it is unclear whether this referred to both sexes or males only. Under laboratory conditions, Nelson et al. (1983) reported that the mean female length at first larval release was 23.8 mm.

Growth rate
Reported growth rates vary according to age. Pechenik et al. (1996) recorded juvenile growth rate for the 9 days after metamorphosis as varying between 15-225µm per day (mean 110.5µm per day). Thouzeau(1991) recorded mean juvenile growth rates over 1 month following settlement as 38-48µm per day with a maximum of 90µm per day.

Immediately after settlement, juvenile Crepidula fornicata are capable of slow crawling and locate a suitable site for attachment and growth. This is either a stone or a chain of other Crepidula fornicata (conspecifics). The shell then grows to fit the substratum and consequently most animals are incapable of further movement at the age of about 2 years (Fretter & Graham, 1981).

Following laboratory experiments, Thain (1984) deduced that, for optimum growth and reproduction, an individual Crepidula fornicata being fed with the alga Phaeodactylum tricornutum requires 5 x 108 algal cells per gram of flesh wet weight per day.
Biology References Fretter & Graham, 1981, Hayward et al.., 1996, Montaudouin de & Sauriau, 1999, Nelson et al., 1983, Pechenik et al., 1996, Thouzeau, 1991, Thain, 1984, Blanchard, 1997, Sauriau et al., 1998, Ehrhold et al., 1998, Montaudouin de et al., 2001,
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