American oyster drill (Urosalpinx cinerea)
|Researched by||Judith Oakley||Refereed by||Admin|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandUrosalpinx cinerea is found on the Essex and Kent coasts, especially in estuaries and is associated with oysters.
Global distributionEast coast of the USA.
HabitatFound on the lower shore and sublittoral to a depth of about 12 m, feeding especially on oysters.
- Shell tall and conical with a sharply pointed spire.
- 7-8 rounded whorls bearing pronounced ridges and ribs.
- Colour yellowish or grey, sometimes with irregular brown marks.
- Shell up to 4 cm high and 2 cm broad.
- Siphonal canal is short and open with the siphonal groove bent towards the left.
Additional informationUrosalpinx cinerea was an unintentional introduction with American oysters Crassostrea virginica. It has limited adult mobility and the lack of a free-swimming larval stage prevents it spreading quickly. It was severely affected by tributyl tin (TBT) pollution. Urosalpinx cinerea predates native oysters and commercial oyster beds. It feeds by boring through oyster shells. The eggs of Urosalpinx cinerea are laid in capsules attached to oyster shells or stones. Each capsule has about 12 eggs, most of which hatch as juveniles. Urosalpinx cinerea resembles Ocenebra erinacea but the siphonal aperture is closed in Ocenebra erinacea and the shell is rough with uneven sculpturing. Urosalpinx cinerea also has a broader and fatter shell.
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This review can be cited as:
Last Updated: 10/08/2006