The shell is neritiform, almost naticiform, depressed and unpigmented. It has about 1-1.5 whorls, and is up to ca. 12.5 mm wide. In young specimens (2-3 mm wide) the nuclear apex is rounded, slightly elevated above the succeeding whorl, finely punctata, and about 0.4 mm in diameter. In more mature specimens part of the nuclear whorl is corroded away and the apex appears larger (ca. 1 mm diameter) and does not project above the next whorl. The whorls are rapidly enlarging, slowly descending, and coiling about 2.5 times during growth to maturity. The earliest whorl in all post-0juveniles is partially obliterated, so that only about 1-1.5 whorls are present at any growth stage. The suture is narrow and impressed. The body whorl is rounded and dominant. The surface, where uncorroded, is nearly smooth and white throughout, with poorly defined collabral lines. The aperture is prosocline, broadly expanded, with a subcircular margin which is continuous in some specimens and interrupted by an incomplete callus on the body whorl in others. The aperture has a D-shaped opening. The outer lip is thin and sharp at the edge, and slightly thickened and chalky behind the edge. The aperture is subnacreous within, with both elongated adapical and basal muscle scars clearly visible. The columella is smooth, broad, flattened and shelf-like, with a callus extending onto the body whorl.
The operculum is calcareous and brittle, but with thin corneous layers covering the outer and inner surfaces. The outer surface has prominent, sinuous, collabral threads and striae, faint spiral lines, and a broad, spiral, brownish horn-coloured admarginal band and a grayish abmarginal spiral band about half as broad as the outer band. The nucleus is below and on the labral side of centre but not submarginal or marginal. The inner surface of the operculum is without a rib or apophysis but with a conspicuous, curved flange on the labral side which arises from behind the margin, fits behind the labrum and it is embedded in the foot.
The body is pale purplish brown in preserved specimens. The subtriangular demibranch, posteriorly-located egg-filled ovary, and some other neritid features are visible through the mantle but the internal anatomy was not studied. The radula is rhipidoglossate, with a formula of many + 4 + 1 + 4 + many. The central tooth is small and wider than it is high. The first lateral tooth is long and blade-like, the other laterals are multiform and complex, and the marginals are filiform, fine and very numerous.
- Felder, D.L. and D.K. Camp (eds.), Gulf of Mexico–Origins, Waters, and Biota. Biodiversity. Texas A&M Press, College Station, Texas. http://www.marinespecies.org/porifera/porifera.php?p=sourcedetails&id=145245
Types collected from Bush Hill, Lousiana Slope (27°47.87'N, 91°30.51'W) at a depth of 541 m (Clarke, 1989).
Deep waters (400 to 2100 meters) in the Gulf of Mexico, around hydrocarbon seeps.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 1 sample.
Depth range (m): 587.5 - 587.5
Temperature range (°C): 7.150 - 7.150
Nitrate (umol/L): 30.171 - 30.171
Salinity (PPS): 34.899 - 34.899
Oxygen (ml/l): 3.108 - 3.108
Phosphate (umol/l): 2.041 - 2.041
Silicate (umol/l): 18.986 - 18.986
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.
Deep waters (400 to 2100 meters) in the Gulf of Mexico, around hydrocarbon seeps.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Bathynerita naticoidea
There is 1 barcode sequence available from BOLD and GenBank. Below is the 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. Other sequences that do not yet meet barcode criteria may also be available.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Bathynerita naticoidea
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
Bathynerita naticoidea is a species of small sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Neritidae, the nerites. This species is endemic to underwater cold seeps (oil seeps and gas seeps) in the northern Gulf of Mexico and in the Caribbean.
Examples of localities include:
- "Bush Hill" (27°46.9478 N; 91°30.5266 W)
- methane seep "Brine Pool NR-1" in depth 650 m (27°43.415 N; 91°16.756 W) photo
- GC 234 (27°44.7318 N; 91°13.4355 W)
- MC 929
Bathynerita naticoidea - like other species in the family Neritidae - has a shell that can be closed with a calcareous operculum. The round shell is low-spired and smoothly sculptured. Its aperture has roughly a semicircular shape.
- 28S ribosomal RNA - NCBI, NCBI
- cytochrome-c oxidase I (COI) gene - NCBI
- 16S ribosomal RNA - NCBI
Bathynerita naticoidea lives at deep-sea cold seeps where hydrocarbons (oil and methane) are leaking out of the seafloor. Bathynerita naticoidea lives around underwater hydrocarbon seeps, and it is the most numerous (dominant) gastropod species in its area. This include oil seeps (= petroleum seeps) and gas seeps (= methane seeps). These seeps are also called cold seeps, in contrast to superheated hydrothermal vents.
These snails normally live in saline water with salinity 30-50 ‰. Bathynerita naticoidea is a euryhaline species. They were also found near a brine pool seep in the Gulf of Mexico and they can survive salinity as high as 85 ‰, but they actively avoid brine with salinity over 60 ‰ and they usually move upward in natural conditions, where the concentration of salt is lower. Bathynerita naticoidea has no osmoregulatory ability when the salinity is too high, but it can survive high salinities, because it closes its operculum.
Bathynerita naticoidea feeds on periphyton of methanotrophic bacteria that grow on shells of mussels of Bathymodiolus childressi, on decomposing periostracum of these mussels and on byssal fibers of them. It can also feed on detritus also on them.
Bathynerita naticoidea can detect beds with mussel Bathymodiolus childressi, because it is attracted by a water altered by this species of mussel, but the nature of the attractant was not discovered yet.
Oogenesis and formation of yolk (vitellogenesis) of Bathynerita naticoidea was described by Eckelbarger & Young (1997). This was the first ultrastructural description of formation of yolk in today's clade Neritimorpha. This process is similar to other gastropods.
Spermatogenesis of Bathynerita naticoidea was described by Hodgson et al. (1998). Bathynerita naticoidea has sperm (eusperm) of introsperm type (about 90 µm long and filiform), so it can be presumed, that the fertilisation of Bathynerita naticoidea is internal.
Eggs are laid in round and white-rimmed egg capsules on various hard substrata: the dorsal part of the shells of the mussel Bathymodiolus childressi. They were found also on shells of mussel Tamu fisheri. There are then scars from these egg capsules on these mussels. Highest number of eggs are laid from December to February. Eggs are 135-145 μm in diameter. There are 25-180 eggs in one eggs capsule. The length of the egg capsule ranges from 1.2 to 2.9 mm.
Veliger larvae are hatched from eggs after four months of development from May to early July. Veliger is about 170 μm long (120-278 μm). Veligers feed on plankton (planktotrophic) and they are probably obligate planktotrophs. They can swim with ciliated foot and they are swimming probably for at least eight months. Veliger have pigmented eyespots. Maybe the same chemosensory mechanisms for detecting mussel beds can be used by its larvae. Veliger in size 600-700 μm can undergo metamorphosis into a snail. Only two protoconchs are known to be found in situ and they measured 630 μm and 615 μm in length.
There lives a fungal filamentous ascomycete (phylum Ascomycota) species as an commensal on the gills of Bathynerita naticoidea. These fungi are externally attached to cells of gills. When this discovery was published in 1999, it was the first such association between fungus and gastropod from underwater seep community. The origin and function of this association is unknown.
Other animals living in communities with Bathynerita naticoidea include:
- polychaete Methanoaricia dendrobranchiata from family Orbiniidae
- mussels Bathymodiolus childressi from family Mytilidae
- Clarke A. H. (1989). "New mollusks from undersea oil seep sites off Louisiana". Malacology Data Net 2(5-6): 122-134.
- Van Gaest A. L. (2006). "Ecology and early life history of Bathynerita naticoidea: evidence for long-distance larval dispersal of a cold seep gastropod". Thesis. Department of Biology and the Graduate School of the University of Oregon. http://hdl.handle.net/1794/3717
- Kano Y., Chiba S. & Kase T. (2002). "Major adaptive radiation in neritopsine gastropods estimated from 28S rRNA sequences and fossil records". Proceedings of the Royal Society B 269: 2457-2465. doi:10.1098/rspb.2002.2178.
- Eckelbarger K. J. & Young C. M. (1997). "Ultrastructure of the ovary and oogenesis in the methane-seep mollusc, Bathynerita naticoidea (Gastropoda: Neritidae) from the Louisiana slope". Invertebrate Biology 116: 299-312. JSTOR.
- Van Gaest A. L., Young C. M., Young J. J., Helms A. R. & Arellano S. M. (). "Physiological and behavioral responses of Bathynerita naticoidea (Gastropoda: Neritidae) and Methanoaricia dendrobranchiata (Polychaeta: Orbiniidae) to hypersaline conditions at a brine pool cold seep. Marine Ecology 28(1): 199 - 207. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0485.2006.00147.x.
- McArthur A. G. (1996). "Molecular investigation of the evolutionary origins of hydrothermal vent gastropods". Thesis, University of Victoria, Canada.
- Frey M. A. & Vermeij G. J. (2008). "Molecular phylogenies and historical biogeography of a circumtropical group of gastropods (Genus: Nerita): implications for regional diversity patterns in the marine tropics". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 48(3): 1067-1086. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2008.05.009
- Zande J. M. (1999). "An Ascomycete Commensal on the Gills of Bathynerita naticoidea, the Dominant Gastropod at Gulf of Mexico Hydrocarbon Seeps". Invertebrate Biology 118(1): 57-62. JSTOR
- Hodgson A. N., Eckelbarger K. J. & Young C. M. (1998). "Sperm Morphology and Spermiogenesis in the Methane-Seep Mollusc Bathynerita naticoidea (Gastropoda: Neritacea) from the Louisiana Slope". Invertebrate Biology 117(3): 199-207. JSTOR.
- Van Gaest A. L. "Larval ecology of deep-sea snails. (slide 3)". accessed 1 May 2010.
- Dattagupta S., Martin J., Liao S., Carney R. S. & Fisher C. R. (2007). "Deep-sea hydrocarbon seep gastropod Bathynerita naticoidea responds to cues from the habitat-providing mussel Bathymodiolus childressi". Marine Ecology 28(1): 193-198. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0485.2006.00130.x
- Gustafson R. G., Turner R. D., Lutz R. A. & Vrijenhoek R. C. (1998). "A new genus and five new species of mussels (Bivalvia, Mytilidae) from deep-sea sulfide/hydrocarbon seeps in the Gulf of Mexico". Malacologia 40(1-2): 63-112. page 90 and page 96.
- Carney R. S. (1993). caption 7: "Heterotrophic Megafauna of Chemosynthetic Seep Ecosystems". In: U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Minerals Management Service. (1993). Chemosynthetic Ecosystems Studies Interim Report. Prepared by Geochemical and Environmental Research Group. U. S. Dept. of the Interior, Minerals Mgmt. Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Regional Office, New Orleans, LA, 110 pp. PDF
- Zande J. M. & Carney R. S. (2001). "Population size structure and feeding biology of Bathynerita naticoidea Clarke 1989 (Gastropoda: Neritacea) from Gulf of Mexico hydrocarbon seeps". Gulf of Mexico Science 19(2): 107-118.
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