BIOTIC Species Information for Lacuna vincta
Researched byAngus Jackson Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byDr John Grahame
Scientific nameLacuna vincta Common nameBanded chink shell
MCS CodeW292 Recent SynonymsLacuna carinata Kozloff, 1987.

PhylumMollusca Subphylum
Superclass ClassGastropoda
SubclassProsobranchia OrderMesogastropoda
Suborder FamilyLittorinidae
GenusLacuna Speciesvincta

Additional InformationThe taxonomy of the Gastropoda has been recently revised (see Ponder & Lindberg 1997, and Taylor 1996). Ponder & Lindberg (1997) suggest that Mesogastropoda should be included in a monophyletic clade, the Caenogastropoda.
Taxonomy References Howson & Picton, 1997, Campbell, 1994, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Ponder & Lindberg 1997, Taylor, 1996, Bieler, 1992,
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,
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandFound on all British and Irish coasts.
Global distributionCircumboreal extending south to Brittany.
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth rangeLow shore to 40
MigratorySeasonal (reproduction)   
Distribution Additional InformationThe species is found on a wide variety of coasts round the British Isles. It occasionally settles from the plankton as high as the mid tide level but is more typically found much further down the shore. The larvae settle out on a variety of algal species. The preferred species in the British Isles include Fucus serratus, Laminaria spp. and on red algal turf, particularly Lomentaria articulata. Also sometimes found on Zostera spp. Lacuna vincta has been recorded in salinities as low as 12-13 psu. Larval settlement from the plankton may occur in water velocities of 2.2m/s. There is a possible inshore migration by subtidal individuals in spring for breeding. The species requires considerable shelter from wave action and water flow. It acquires this shelter by selecting suitable habitats Exposure to adversely strong water currents may result in lifting of the foot and production of long sticky mucus threads allowing passive drifting in the water column to disperse to better conditions.

Substratum preferencesAlgae
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Ria / Voe
Biological zone Wave exposureModerately Exposed
Very Sheltered
Extremely Sheltered
Tidal stream strength/Water flowModerately Strong (1-3 kn)
Weak (<1 kn)
Very Weak (negligible)
SalinityFull (30-40 psu)
Variable (18-40 psu)
Reduced (18-30 psu)
Low (<18 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Campbell, 1994, Hayward et al., 1996, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Fretter & Graham, 1994, Fretter & Manly, 1977, Martel & Diefenbach, 1993,
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeGonochoristic
Developmental mechanismPlanktotrophic
Reproductive SeasonAll year Reproductive LocationInsufficient information
Reproductive frequencyAnnual protracted Regeneration potential No
Life span<1 year Age at reproductive maturity<1 year
Generation time<1 year Fecundity1,000-1,500 eggs per spawn
Egg/propagule sizeCa 100 µm Fertilization type
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potential>10km Larval settlement periodPeak May/June or September: See additional info.
Duration of larval stage1-6 months   
Reproduction Preferences Additional InformationIn the field the species survives for a year or less. Survival rates are very low. Only 2-5 percent of the population will reach maturity. An estimate of the number of eggs per female per season is 53,500. Each spawn mass contains 1,000 - 1,500 eggs. The egg mass has a definite ring doughnut shape and the colour of the mass varies with diet. Individual egg size is around 100 microns. Development inside the egg takes 2.5 to 3.5 weeks. Spawning occurs throughout the year but there is a distinct peak. In southern Britain this peak is in winter resulting in main larval settlement in late May / early June. Further north settlement peaks in September. Cold temperatures may delay oviposition. Settlement is probably induced by organic properties of substrata beneficial to the adult rather than the presence of or exudate from other individuals of the species.
Reproduction References Martel & Chia, 1991a, Grahame, 1994, Fretter & Graham, 1994, Fretter & Manly, 1977, Smith, 1973,
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