Saturday, December 26, 2009

Melarhaphe neritoides - before and after

Melarhaphe neritoides (Linn., 1758) is a seasnail which spends the summer months aestivating in cracks on bare rock, in a part of the shore where the sea does not reach, sealing up its aperture with a solid horny operculum to prevent losing water in the extreme heat accumulating during the day.

As soon as winter comes, more powerful waves and heavier mist start wetting the area where the snail lives, eventually filling pools in the rock and allowing the snail to resume its 'normal' lifestyle - moving about, grazing on algae, mating and laying eggs, in time before the dryness returns.

The following photographs were taken in the same rock hollow in August (photo 1) and December (photo 2) on the limestone shore of Buġibba, Malta, showing the snail during its period of inactivity and its subsequent 'resurrection'.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...