BIOTIC Species Information for Buccinum undatum
Researched byLizzie Tyler Data supplied byUniversity of Sheffield
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Scientific nameBuccinum undatum Common nameCommon whelk
MCS CodeW708 Recent Synonyms

PhylumMollusca Subphylum
Superclass ClassGastropoda
SubclassProsobranchia OrderNeogastropoda
Suborder FamilyBuccinidae
GenusBuccinum Speciesundatum

Additional Information
Taxonomy References Hayward et al., 1996, Fish & Fish, 1996, Howson & Picton, 1997, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b,
General Biology
Growth formTurbinate
Feeding methodPredator
Environmental positionEpifaunal
Typical food typesCarrion as well as bivalves and certain polychaetes HabitFree living
BioturbatorNot relevant FlexibilityNone (< 10 degrees)
FragilityRobust SizeSmall-medium(3-10cm)
HeightNot researched Growth RateNot researched
Adult dispersal potential1km-10km DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional Information
Biology References Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Seaward, 1982, Christensen, 1980, Graham, 1988, Philippart, 1998, Valentinsson et al., 1999, Hancock, 1963, Himmelman & Hamel, 1993, Darkin, 1912, Hancock, 1960, Ramsay & Kaiser, 1998, Neilsen, 1975, Taylor, 1978, Martel et al., 1986, Hayward & Ryland, 1990, Julie Bremner, unpub data,
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandFound on most British and Irish coasts except the Isles of Scilly.
Global distributionFound in north-west Europe from Poland, Norway and Iceland to the Azores and in the American north Atlantic off the coasts of Canada.
Biogeographic rangeCold temperate to temperate. Depth range0 - 1200 m
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional Information

Substratum preferencesAlgae
Large to very large boulders
Small boulders
Muddy gravel
Coarse clean sand
Fine clean sand
Muddy sand
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Offshore seabed
Strait / sound
Ria / Voe
Enclosed coast / Embayment
Biological zoneLower Eulittoral
Sublittoral Fringe
Upper Infralittoral
Lower Infralittoral
Upper Circalittoral
Lower Circalittoral
Circalittoral Offshore
Bathybenthic (Bathyal)
Wave exposureField unresearched
Tidal stream strength/Water flowField unresearched
SalinityFull (30-40 psu)
Variable (18-40 psu)
Reduced (18-30 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Hayward et al., 1996, Fish & Fish, 1996, Picton & Costello, 1998, Mackie et al., 1995, Bruce et al., 1963, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Seaward, 1982, Christensen, 1980, Valentinsson et al., 1999, Hancock, 1963, Darkin, 1912, Hayward & Ryland, 1990, Julie Bremner, unpub data,
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeGonochoristic
Permanent hermaphrodite
Developmental mechanismDirect Development
Reproductive SeasonOctober to May Reproductive LocationAs adult
Reproductive frequencyAnnual protracted Regeneration potential No
Life span11-20 years Age at reproductive maturity6-10 years
Generation timeNot researched Fecundity11500
Egg/propagule size250 µm diameter Fertilization typeInternal
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potentialNot relevant Larval settlement periodNot researched
Duration of larval stage   
Reproduction Preferences Additional Information
Reproduction References Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Seaward, 1982, Graham, 1988, Himmelman & Hamel, 1993, Darkin, 1912, Martel et al., 1986, Poloczanska & Ansell, 1999, Julie Bremner, unpub data,
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