Hopkins Marine Station Student Paper

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(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)

Title: Aspects of the natural history of the Kellet's Whelk, Kelletia kelletii
Student Author(s): Stevenson, Derek
Faculty Advisor(s): Watanabe, James
Pages: 29
Location: Final Papers Biology 175H
Date: June 1994
Abstract: The predatory gastropod, Kelletia kelletii, was studied in the lab and in the field to characterize its habitat characteristics, distribution patterns, activity patterns, and escape responses. The mean density of Kelletia was 0.32 /m2, and their depth range was 5.5 to 1.2 m. Snail sizes differed significantly between those found on rock and on sand: the mean size of snails found on rock was 78.4 mm, while the mean size for snails found on sand was 92.9 mm. Adult snails in the lab and field bury themselves for up to 152 hours, punctuated with bursts of activity. There was no significant relationship between the percent time buried, the length of the buried period, the length of the active period, or the rate of movement, and size of snails. No clear relationship existed between the activity pattern and foraging, and gut content analysis was inconclusive. Kelletia captured and consumed Tegula or Calliostoma ligatum in both the lab and field. A large mating aggregation was found during the study. Snails were significantly larger within this aggregation. Kelletia exhibited no escape response to three sea stars and a crab.