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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Nerita plicata represents a common and broadly distributed species of marine intertidal snail, ranging throughout the rocky shores of the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans.  The species is characterized by having planktonic veliger larvae, resulting in broad dispersal capabilities.  Upon settlement in the upper intertidal, juveniles and adults feed by scraping microalgae and cyanobacteria from hard, rocky substrate using a radula.  Sexes are separate, with males and females engaging in copulation; fertilization is internal.  Following mating, females deposit egg capsules containing multiple eggs that develop and hatch into veliger larvae.

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Frey, Melissa A.

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Description

Nerita plicata is a marine 'nerite' snail, characterized by a solid, globose shell with a high spire and heavy sculpture.  Color of shell ranges from cream to rose, sometimes with blackish markings that can yield an overall grey appearance.

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Distribution

Indo-West Pacific: northeastern South Africa to Hawaiian Islands; occasionally on Easter Island and reported from Clipperton Island.

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Frey, Melissa A.

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Physical Description

Morphology

Similar to other nerites, Nerita plicata remodels the interior of its shell by resorption of the inner shell walls, yielding a single vaulted chamber to house its body and maintain a water resevoir.  In addition to an external shell, Nerita plicata possesses a distinct head, a visceral mass, and a foot.  The head is comprised of a pair of cephalic tentacles (with eyes), a snout, and a buccal cavity (mouth).  For feeding, N. plicata uses a rhipidoglossan radula that is comprised of a single, quadrate central tooth, flanked on each side by 5 lateral teeth and numerous (~60-80) marginal teeth (Komatsu 1986).  Nerita possess a single left gill through which respiration primarily takes place; however, when the snail is out of water, the mantle cavity serves as a lung.  Males are distinguished from females by the presence of a cephalic penis, which is used to transfer spermatophores to the receptaculum of the female.  For a more detailed description of Nerita morphology and anatomy, see Bourne (1908) and Fretter (1965).

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Frey, Melissa A.

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Size

Individuals can reach a maximum of 35 mm in shell length, but average approximately 25 mm.

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Frey, Melissa A.

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Diagnostic Description

Description

Habitat: rocky cliffs (Ruwa, 1984). Globose shell, up to 3 cm, with well-marked ridges. Columella with three strong teeth, outer lip with 2 strong and 3 weak teeth. Colour creamy (ocasionally with black dots). Operculum smooth and brown. Habitat: on rocks in the supralittoral fringe. Distribution: Indo-Pacific (Richmond, 1997); tropical Indo-Pacific, also in Australia in Kalk (1958).
  • Drivas, J.; Jay, M. (1987). Coquillages de La Réunion et de l'Île Maurice. Collection Les Beautés de la Nature. Delachaux et Niestlé: Neuchâtel. ISBN 2-603-00654-1. 159 pp.
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Nerita plicata is characterized by a globose shell, elevated spire, and strong spiral ribs.  Body whorl convex, spire pointed at apex, and rounded spiral ribs thickened with deep interstitial grooves.  Shell aperture bordered by 5-7 prominent denticles on outer lip and 3-4 squared denticles on columellar lip.  Columella convex and marked with strong wrinkles and pustules.  Operculum concave in shape, smooth with narrow strip of small granules, and tan to fawn in color.  Color of shell varies from cream to rose, sometimes with blackish markings that become so dense in some specimens to yield an overall grey appearance.  Outer lip often bordered by yellow line.  Shell length up to 35 mm.

Original description: "testa fulcata, labiis dentatis: interiore rotundato; exteriore utrinque dentibus acutis conicis" (Linnaeus 1758).

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Look Alikes

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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 5 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 4 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): -1 - 6.5
  Temperature range (°C): 25.622 - 28.488
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.090 - 0.895
  Salinity (PPS): 33.691 - 35.069
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.454 - 4.666
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.073 - 0.187
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.005 - 3.620

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): -1 - 6.5

Temperature range (°C): 25.622 - 28.488

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.090 - 0.895

Salinity (PPS): 33.691 - 35.069

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.454 - 4.666

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.073 - 0.187

Silicate (umol/l): 1.005 - 3.620
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Marine intertidal: rocky shores; supra littoral; specializes primarily on limestone substrate, but occasionally found on volcanic rock (Vermeij 1971).

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Dispersal

In Nerita plicata, dispersal occurs during the larval stage, as veliger larvae feed on plankton (= planktotrophic).  To date, there are no precise estimates of larval duration for N. plicata; however, Nerita species may spend up to 6 months in the plankton (Underwood 1975), resulting in broad dispersal potential.

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Trophic Strategy

Similar to other species of Nerita, N. plicata is an herbivore, grazing on a mixture of epilithic microalgae and cyanobacteria.

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Frey, Melissa A.

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Population Biology

Common and usually abundant throughout geographic range, although somewhat patchy in distribution due to habitat specialization.

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Behaviour

To help regulate temperature and avoid dessication, individuals of Nerita plicata often cluster or form dense aggregates.

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Reproduction

Sexes are separate (= dioecious), with males and females engaging in copulation.  Males insert a cephalic penis into the mantle cavity of a female, leading to the transfer a spermatophore; fertilization is internal.  Following mating, females deposit flattened egg capsules on nearby hard, rocky substrate.  Each capsule contains multiple eggs, which develop and hatch out into planktonic veliger larvae.

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Evolution and Systematics

Evolution

Nerita plicata serves as the type species for the subgenus Ritena Gray, 1858.  Recent molecular phylogenetic findings suggest that N. plicata is most closely related to Nerita picea; however, apart from a high spire, these species show relatively few morphological similarities (Frey 2008).  Future research is necessary to determine sister species relationships and exact systematic positions.

A phylogeographic study revealed two divergent clades within N. plicata, separated by a large genetic break (2.3% COI sequence divergence).  Both clades span the Pacific and Indian oceans, showing evidence of gene flow between basins; however the smaller clade is more commonly distributed within the Central Pacific, suggesting a sharp cline in clade frequency in the region (Crandall et al. 2008).

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Physiology and Cell Biology

Physiology

Despite inhabiting the marine upper intertidal zone, Nerita plicata is able to regulate temperature and avoid dessication by maintaining a large water resevoir within its shell, which in turn facilitates evaporative cooling.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Genetics

Nerita plicata possess a diploid chromosome number of 2n = 24, including 11 pairs of autosomes and one pair of sex chromosomes (n = 11 + X).  Males are characterized by the sex-determining chromosomes XO (Komatsu, 1985).

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Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Nerita plicata

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 483 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

ACTCTATATATTATGTTTGGTGTGTGATCTGGTTTAGTCGGGACTGCTCTG---AGGCTCTTGATTCGAGCTGAACTTGGACAGCCAGGAGCTCTTTTAGGTGAT---GATCAACTTTATAATGTGATCGTTACTGCGCATGCATTTGTGATAATTTTTTTCTTGGTGATGCCTATGATGATTGGGGGATTCGGTAATTGGTTGGTTCCTTTAATG---TTGGGGGCTCCTGATATGGCGTTCCCGCGGTTGAATAATATAAGTTTTTGGTTGCTTCCGCCTTCGTTGACTTTGTTGCTCGCTTCTTCTGCTGTTGAGAGCGGTGTAGGGACAGGTTGAACGGTTTATCCTCCTTTGTCTGGGAACTTAGCTCATGCTGGGGGTTCTGTGGATTTA---GCTATCTTCTCGTTACACTTAGCTGGTGTATCTTCTATTTTAGGTGCTGTAAATTTTATTACTACGATCATTAATATGCGGTGACAGGGGATGCAATTTGAGCGGTTGCCTCTCTTCGTGTGATCTGTGAAGATTACTGCTATTCTTTTATTGCTATCTTTGCCTGTTCTTGCTGGT---GCAATTACTATGTTGTTAACCGATCGAAATTTTAATACATCTTTCTTTGATCCTGCCGGAGGCGGAGATCCTATTTTGTATCAGCATTTG
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Nerita plicata

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 488
Specimens with Barcodes: 496
Species With Barcodes: 1
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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Wikipedia

Nerita plicata

Nerita plicata is a species of tropical sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Neritidae, the nerites. This species is found throughout the Indo-West Pacific.

Characteristics[edit]

The Nerita plicata is characterized by its 30 mm shell height with its width being about the same. Their exterior is generally dull white or pink with ribs sometimes being black. [1]

A cluster of Nerita plicata at low tide at Turtle Island, Fiji.

Habitat[edit]

This species lives high up in the intertidal zone, on rocks. N. plicata has ridges on its shell that helps it stay cool when exposed at low tide by radiating heat away.

Reproduction[edit]

The Nerita plicata reproduces through copulation between male and female. After mating, females will deposit egg capsules which will eventually hatch into larvae.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nerita plicata". seashellsofnsw.org.au. 
  2. ^ "Information on Nerita plicata". Encyclopedia of Life. 
  • Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae, 10th ed., vol. 1: 824 pp. Laurentii Salvii: Holmiae [Stockholm, Sweden].


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