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Vertical migrations of the mangrove snail Cerithidea decollata (L.)(Potamididae) through a synodic month
Vannini, M.; Coffa, C.; Lori, E.; Fratini, S. (2008). Vertical migrations of the mangrove snail Cerithidea decollata (L.)(Potamididae) through a synodic month. Est., Coast. and Shelf Sci. 78: 644-648
In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. Academic Press: London; New York. ISSN 0272-7714; e-ISSN 1096-0015, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Cerithidea, behaviour of intertidal animals, mangrove fauna, vertical migration, biological clock

Authors  Top 
  • Vannini, M., more
  • Coffa, C.
  • Lori, E.
  • Fratini, S.

    The vertical migration on mangrove trunks of the gastropod Cerithidea decollata was followed for 5 weeks, in a Kenyan mangrove. Most of the times, snails forage on the mud surface, during low tide, and climb back on trees well before the incoming tide. As soon as the sea retreats, the downward migration takes place and the snails spread again on the ground. The migratory behaviour of snails can vary widely, depending on the relative tide intensity, and different strategies can be exhibited. Individuals can spend several days on trees without migrating to the ground, around Spring Tides, or else, they might remain on the ground without bothering to migrate upwards, during Neap Tides, when the study area is not reached by the water. These irregular animal behaviours, relating to the complicated tide succession, can hardly be explained by the sole presence of an internal clock, and direct cues seem necessary to switch between different strategies, tuning the snails migratory behaviour to the actual local sea conditions.

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