Chemical mediation of egg capsule deposition by mud snails.
Mud snails (Ilyanassa obsoleta = Nassarius obsoletus = Nassa obsoleta) deposit eggs in protective capsules on hard substrata in soft bottom environments. We studied sites of egg capsule deposition and snail movement responses to odors to determine if chemoreception plays a role in deposition site selection. From results of field surveys, laboratory experiments, and field experiments, we conclude that mud snails use chemoreception for capsule deposition. Attractive odors originate from mud snail and whelk egg capsules and from living bivalves. Evidence for attractive odors from conspecifics is equivocal. Capsules are deposited on living odor sources and nearby hard substrates. We hypothesize that deposition of capsules on living substrates increases the likelihood that embryos will survive by decreasing the chance of smothering of embryos by sediments.
Rittschof, D; Sawardecker, P; Petry, C
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