Overview

Brief Summary

Ficus is one of the two small genera in the marine gastropod snail family Ficidae.  This genus contains 10 species of medium-large sized snails characterized by delicate shells with swelled body whorls and a drawn-out siphonal canal, giving them a distinct pear or fig shape.  The largest species (F. gracilis, the graceful fig shell) grows to about 20 cm (8 inches) in length.  The family has species in coastal waters around the world, mainly in the tropics and warm temperate areas.  While a few species inhabit intertidal areas, most live in deeper waters up to 1000 m (3300 feet), and have been discovered as by-catch from trawls.  Those in intertidal areas bury themselves in sand at low tide, making them appear rarer than they may actually be.

All species live on sand or silt surfaces.  When gliding along the surface on their large foot, their fleshy mantle partially to fully covers their shell.  They feed by pulling small organisms and small organic particles into their feeding cavity with their proboscis.  Neo (2010) points out that previous authors cited various Ficus species as feeding on echinoderms; this is not confirmed by recorded observations, however polychaete cuticle has been recorded in the guts of F. subintermedia.  Ficus snails have no operculum.  Many of the species have multiple synonyms, which can make their taxonomy and identification confusing (Archerd shell collection; Mitchell 2008; Poutiers 1998; Neo 2010; Vos 2013).

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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 62 specimens in 8 taxa.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 19 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 18 - 89.6112
  Temperature range (°C): 23.384 - 27.753
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.583 - 7.715
  Salinity (PPS): 34.301 - 36.231
  Oxygen (ml/l): 3.097 - 4.876
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.094 - 0.687
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.900 - 11.431

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 18 - 89.6112

Temperature range (°C): 23.384 - 27.753

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.583 - 7.715

Salinity (PPS): 34.301 - 36.231

Oxygen (ml/l): 3.097 - 4.876

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.094 - 0.687

Silicate (umol/l): 0.900 - 11.431
 
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Wikipedia

Ficus (gastropod)

This article is about sea snails. For the genus of woody plants with the same scientific name, see Ficus.

Ficus is a genus of large sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Ficidae, the fig shells.[3]

This is the type genus of the family Ficidae. Previously it has been categorized in the family Muricidae by Tryon ,1873) and Tritonidae (by Mörch)

Description[edit]

The light, pyriform shell is ventricose, ribbed, and cancellated. The spire very short. The aperture large. The smooth columella is simple. The elongated canal is straight. The thin outer lip is entire. There is no umbilicus.[4]

Species[edit]

Species within the genus Ficus include:

Species brought into synonymy

References[edit]

  • Lamarck J.-B. (M. de) (1799). Prodrome d'une nouvelle classification des coquilles, comprenant une rédaction appropriée des caractères géneriques, et l'établissement d'un grand nombre de genres nouveaux. Mémoires de la Société d'Histoire Naturelle de Paris 1: 63-91
  • Vaught, K.C. (1989). A classification of the living Mollusca. American Malacologists: Melbourne, FL (USA). ISBN 0-915826-22-4. XII, 195 pp
  • Verhaeghe, M. & Poppe, G. T., 2000 A Conchological Iconography (3), The Family Ficidae
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