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Overview

Brief Summary

The red whelk is a predator snail of colder seas, found particularly in the northern parts of the North Sea. The color and shape of the shell of the red whelk can vary greatly and is often confused for a whelk. Empty red whelk shells are fairly uncommon on the Wadden Islands; they are even less common further south. Fossil shells are sometimes found. Just like the whelk, red whelks are sensitive to pollution and churned up bottom, often caused by fisheries.
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Comprehensive Description

Description

 A tall spired whelk, with 7 or 8 whorls, that normally grows to 10 cm long and 5 cm in width. The body whorl comprises about ¾ of the total height and the whorls are slightly convex, giving a stepped effect and ornamented with fine ridges following the spirals. The aperture is large and oval and where the lips meet at the shell base there is a canal for the siphon to emerge when the whelk is active.Neptunea antiqua closely resembles Buccinum undatum, the common whelk. They can be separated by the fact that Buccinum undatum has vertical as well as concentric ridges on the whorls. The common whelk is edible but the red whelk is not (Hayward et al, 1996). The distribution and abundance of Neptunea antiqua may be reduced in Britain as a result of seawater warming.
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Distribution

Locally common around much of British Isles, less so in south and off west coast of Ireland
  • Hayward, P.J.; Ryland, J.S. (Ed.) (1990). The marine fauna of the British Isles and North-West Europe: 1. Introduction and protozoans to arthropods. Clarendon Press: Oxford, UK. ISBN 0-19-857356-1. 627 pp.
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 196 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 136 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 1331
  Temperature range (°C): 6.506 - 11.513
  Nitrate (umol/L): 1.402 - 18.619
  Salinity (PPS): 31.635 - 35.745
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.318 - 6.746
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.256 - 1.169
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.987 - 12.550

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 1331

Temperature range (°C): 6.506 - 11.513

Nitrate (umol/L): 1.402 - 18.619

Salinity (PPS): 31.635 - 35.745

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.318 - 6.746

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.256 - 1.169

Silicate (umol/l): 0.987 - 12.550
 
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 Occurs sublittorally from 15-1200 m, mainly on soft substrata. Empty shells are often found on the shore.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Neptunea antiqua

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Wikipedia

Neptunea antiqua

Neptunea antiqua, common name the red whelk, is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Buccinidae, the true whelks.[1]

Contents

Description

Distribution

Toxicity

N. antiqua contains tetramethylammonium salts (referred to as "tetramine" in this context) in its tissues, and has been the source of non-lethal human poisoning.[2]

References

  1. ^ Neptunea antiqua (Linnaeus, 1758).  Retrieved through: World Register of Marine Species on 17 April 2010.
  2. ^ U. Anthoni, L. Bohlin, C. Larsen, P. Nielsen, N. H. Nielsen, and C. Christophersen (1989). "The toxin tetramine from the "edible" whelk Neptunea antiqua." Toxicon 27 717-723.
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