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Nocturnal feeding migrations of Nerita plicata, N. undata and N. textilis (Prosobranchia, Neritacea) on a rocky shore in Kenya at Mkomani, Mombasa, Kenya
Ruwa, R. K.; Jaccarini, V. (1988). Nocturnal feeding migrations of Nerita plicata, N. undata and N. textilis (Prosobranchia, Neritacea) on a rocky shore in Kenya at Mkomani, Mombasa, Kenya. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 99(2): 229-234. dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00391985
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Feeding migrations; Size; Zonation (ecological); Nerita plicata Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Nerita textilis Gmelin, 1791 [WoRMS]; Nerita undata Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Brackish water

Authors  Top 
  • Ruwa, R. K., more
  • Jaccarini, V.

Abstract
    The vertical zonation of the three common rocky shore neritids at Mkomani, Mombasa, Kenya, Nerita plicata Linnaeus, N. undata Linnaeus, and N. textilis Dillwyn, as a function of feeding migrations and of size, was studied from 28 February to 24 March 1983. These snails perform feeding migrations at night starting at around mid-ebb tide and return to their resting positions with the flood tide. They remain in their resting positions throughout the day until the next nocturnal ebb tide. The direction of migration is size related, with the larger snails of each species moving in the opposite vertical direction to the smaller ones, so that the populations as a whole exhibit no statistically significant net vertical displacement. The larger individuals of two of the species, N. plicata and N. undata, invariably move downwards to their feeding levels, while the smaller individuals move upwards; the larger individuals of N. textilis display a different pattern of migration, moving downwards on and around spring-tide days and upwards on and around neap tide days, while the smaller individuals move in the opposite directions. N. textilis rest above their feeding level around spring tides, and below that level around neap tides. It is demonstrated how these nocturnal migratory feeding rhythms are integrated into the spring-neap and seasonal cycles of the snails' daytime resting positions. The adaptive significance of these migrations is also discussed.

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