Naticid gastropods are common predatory mollusks in marine systems where they feed on bivalve mollusks. Predation involves boring a hole through the shell of the prey, which provides the opportunity for beach collections of shells to be used to determine feeding preferences of predators in nature. We examined whether naticids exhibited preferences for prey size, valve side (left vs. right) and valve site (location on the shell) and whether these preferences differed between prey species (Mulinia lateralis, dwarf surf clam; Anadara brasiliana, incongruous ark clam). Random samples of A.brasiliana and M.lateralis were collected from Otter Island, South Carolina and preferences for body size, valve site, and valve side determined. We found that predators feeding on M. lateralis exhibited preferences for body size, valve site and valve side. In contrast, predators feeding on A. brasiliana exhibited preferences for body size and valve site but not valve side. These results indicate that predators appear to adopt species-specific feeding strategies, which are likely shaped by variation in the benefits and costs associated with feeding on the different prey types.
Valdez, Erica and Araiza, Danielle N.
"Size-, Side- and Site-Related Predation of Naticid Gastropods on Dwarf Surf Clams (Mulinia lateralis) and Incongruous Ark Clams (Anadara brasiliana) on The Atlantic Coast,"
DePaul Discoveries: Vol. 4
, Article 15.
Available at: http://via.library.depaul.edu/depaul-disc/vol4/iss1/15