Overview

Comprehensive Description

Astyris lunata belongs to the order Gastropoda. Members of this order have a shell that is lacking a nacreous layer, radula with 1-3 teeth, and a mantle that forms a siphon (Brusca and Brusca 1990). The color of the shell is brown to yellowish-brown grading from end to center with three series of deep-red or dark brownish-red hook-shaped bands in the middle and at the ends.
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Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Distribution

Range: 48°N to 28°S; 97.6°W to 34.9°W. Distribution: Canada; Canada: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick; USA: Maine (Cobscook Bay), Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Georgia, Florida; Florida: East Florida, West Florida, Florida Keys; USA: Louisiana, Texas; Mexico; Mexico: Veracruz, Campeche State, Yucatan State, Campeche Bank, Quintana Roo; Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Bermuda; Virgin Islands: St. Croix; St. Vincent & the Grenadines: Grenada; Surinam, Brazil; Brazil: Ceara, Rio Grande do Norte, Pernambuco, Bahia, Sao Paulo, Parana, Santa Catarina
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© WoRMS for SMEBD

Source: World Register of Marine Species

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The lunar dovesnail is found along the western Atlantic coast from Nova Scotia to Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, in the Caribbean and as far south as Brazil at depths from 0 to 52 m. In the Indian River Lagoon, the lunar dovesnail mainly occurs in high densities in seagrass beds (Howard 1987).
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© Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce

Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Physical Description

Size

The maximum reported size for Astyris lunata is 5.8 mm.
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Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Type Information

Syntype for Columbella dissimilis Stimpson, 1854
Catalog Number: USNM 24659
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Dry
Collector(s): W. Stimpson
Locality: Grand Manan, Canada, Bay of Fundy, North Atlantic Ocean
  • Syntype: Proc. Boston Soc. nat. Hist. 4: 114.
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Ecology

Habitat

Known from seamounts and knolls
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infralittoral of the Gulf and estuary
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Depth range based on 1245 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 371 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): -99 - 1715
  Temperature range (°C): 3.587 - 26.658
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.236 - 19.296
  Salinity (PPS): 32.397 - 37.252
  Oxygen (ml/l): 3.326 - 6.835
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.085 - 1.331
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.756 - 14.354

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): -99 - 1715

Temperature range (°C): 3.587 - 26.658

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.236 - 19.296

Salinity (PPS): 32.397 - 37.252

Oxygen (ml/l): 3.326 - 6.835

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.085 - 1.331

Silicate (umol/l): 0.756 - 14.354
 
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Depth range based on 2 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 1 sample.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 16 - 17
  Temperature range (°C): 24.954 - 24.954
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.615 - 0.615
  Salinity (PPS): 36.143 - 36.143
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.876 - 4.876
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.094 - 0.094
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.329 - 1.329

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 16 - 17
 
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Trophic Strategy

The lunar dovesnail preys upon encrusting ascidians and byrozoans (Osman et al. 1992, Osman and Whitlatch 1995, Stachowitz and Whitlatch 2005). A study of a population of Astyris (Mitrella) lunata from Long Island Sound suggests that high densities of the lunar dovesnail can influence recruitment and success of larval ascidians (Osman and Whitlatch 1995).
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Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Associations

Astyris lunata is commonly found associated with Anachis lafresnayi on the red alga Chondrus crispus in southern New England (Stachowitz and Whitlatch 2005). These two gastropods appear to keep the surface of C. crispus free from overgrowth by fouling organisms. The lunar dovesnail is also found as an epibiont on loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in mats of the green algae Bryopsis plumose occurring on the posterior margins of the turtle carapace (Frick et al. 2000).
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Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Population Biology

The lunar dovesnail usually occurs at high densities when they are present. Locomotion: Strombus gigas moves by a unique shell-thrusting motion called "leaping" (Hesse 1980). The queen conch uses its claw-like operculum to dig into the sand and then "pole" forward by extending the foot (Rupert and Barnes 1994). This is a very different mode of transportation from other gastropods.
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Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Astyris lunata have separate sexes and males have a penis (Brusca and Brusca 1990). Reproduction occurs by copulation. Members of the family Columbellidae lay egg capsules with multiple eggs per capsule.
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Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Growth

There are no specific studies addressing the embryology of the lunar dovesnail. For many species in the family Columbellidae, embryos develop in the egg case and crawling juveniles emerge from the egg capsule.
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Wikipedia

Astyris lunata

Astyris lunata is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Columbellidae, the dove snails.[1]

Contents

Description

Distribution

References

  1. ^ a b Astyris lunata (Say, 1826).  Retrieved through: World Register of Marine Species on 17 April 2010.
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