As predators, Naticidae (Gastropoda) can shape marine soft-sediment communities. Thus understanding of the reproductive biology and development of moonsnails is of great importance. Most moonsnails lay large egg masses, known as sand or egg collars, which are freely distributed on sand or muddy sediments. Here we report upon the abundance of egg collars of two naticid species, Amauropsis islandica and Euspira pallida, from the high-latitude White Sea, as well as describe the morphology of egg collars and hatching success, with a brief description of juvenile feeding in A. islandica. While in the subtidal zone, the egg collars of E. pallida were 10 times more abundant than of A. islandica, the egg collars of the latter species were the only ones that occur in the intertidal zone. The morphology of an egg collar of E. pallida differed from the literature descriptions by having a plicated basal margin. The number of egg capsules inside the collars was twice as high in A. islandica compared with E. pallida, but they were smaller. Amauropsis islandica hatchlings were larger and hatching success was more than twice that in E. pallida. We suggest that these characteristics promote the high abundance of A. islandica populations observed on some tidal flats of the White Sea. Surprisingly, A. islandica juveniles could perform non-drilling feeding in the first month after hatching. This study fills the gap in the knowledge of naticid reproductive biology at high latitudes.
|Journal||Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 24 Nov 2020|