Black turban snail

Tegula funebralis

The black turban snail or black tegula, scientific name ''Tegula funebralis'', is a species of medium-sized marine sea snail in the family Tegulidae. This Eastern Pacific Ocean species was previously known as ''Chlorostoma funebralis''.
Black Turban Snail Sep 2014.
Tidal pools, rocks. Next to Morro Rock, Morro Bay, CA.
Medium-sized sea snail with gills and an operculum, a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Tegulidae.    Fall,Geotagged,Tegula funebralis,United States

Appearance

Most adults have shells which are 20 to 50 mm in diameter. Adults weigh anywhere from 2 to 20 grams . Individuals can live anywhere from 7 to 30 years; studies have shown that individuals inhabiting the more northern portions of the organism's range are larger and live longer on average than organisms inhabiting the southern portions.

In 1971, a new sense organ was discovered in this marine snail. Chemoreceptor organs were found near the base on the border of the leaflets of the ctenidium , one on each leaflet. They form a light swelling near the base of the leaflet with a pocket lying within the swelling. Together they are termed a "bursicle".

Distribution

Black turban snails are found along the Pacific coast of North America from British Columbia to Baja California, where they are one of the most abundant snail species. Studies have recorded black turban snail densities of up to 1,400 individuals per m2 near Monterey, California. Local densities of black turban snails are influenced by many factors, including abundance of food, predators, and suitable habitat.

Black turban snails inhabit rocky intertidal zones, between low and high tide lines. Juveniles are found mostly under rocks and among coarse sands. Empty black turban snail shells are often utilized by another common intertidal animal, the hermit crab.

Habitat

Black turban snails are found along the Pacific coast of North America from British Columbia to Baja California, where they are one of the most abundant snail species. Studies have recorded black turban snail densities of up to 1,400 individuals per m2 near Monterey, California. Local densities of black turban snails are influenced by many factors, including abundance of food, predators, and suitable habitat.

Black turban snails inhabit rocky intertidal zones, between low and high tide lines. Juveniles are found mostly under rocks and among coarse sands. Empty black turban snail shells are often utilized by another common intertidal animal, the hermit crab.

Food

''Tegula funebralis'' is primarily herbivorous. Food for ''T. funebralis'' can be categorized as either rock encrusting algae, macroscopic algae, or organic detritus. Studies into the macroscopic algal preferences of ''T. funebralis'' revealed a strong preference for ''Nereocystis luetkana'' and ''macrocystis integrifolia''. Macroscopic algae species preferred by ''T. funebralis'' are similar in that they are non-calcareous, non-filamentous, and softer in comparison to other macroscopic algae in the region. These species do not grow in the intertidal, so they are only available to ''T. funebralis'' as drift material.

Predators

Predators of ''Tegula funebralis'' include sea stars, crabs, octopi, sea gulls, and sea otters. Experiments showed that ''T. funebralis'' will flee if it detects a predator nearby, and if already in motion, can increase its speed from 2-3 cm per minute to around 8 cm per minute. If the anterior portion of ''T. funebralis'' is touched by a predator, it can raise the front of the foot and make a 90° turn to escape. Additionally, if ''T. funebralis'' detects a predator while on a steep surface, it can detach itself and roll down the incline.

References:

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Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionMollusca
ClassGastropoda
OrderTrochida
FamilyTegulidae
GenusTegula
SpeciesT. funebralis