Comprehensive Description

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Biology/Natural History: This filter-feeding species specializes in living on Tegula funebralis, Calliostoma ligatum, and Searlesia dira shells. It is a protandric hermaphrodite. A newly settled individual is male. As the individual grows another (male) individual may settle on its shell, and the bottom individual becomes female. This species broods its eggs, which have direct development. The eggs are kept in capsules under the mother's shell. When the young are ready for release the mother lifts her shell 1-3 mm above the substrate and pushes them out with her head. Newly liberated young are like small adults, 1.9 mm long. They usually fall off the Tegula shell and grow to about 4 mm before they find another host. A related species, Crepidula fornicata, is native to the Atlantic but has been introduced to a few areas in the Northwest with oysters.


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© Rosario Beach Marine Laboratory

Source: Invertebrates of the Salish Sea

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