Lacuna (Epheria) variegata Carpenter, 1864
Common name(s): Variegate lacuna, variable lacuna, variegated chink shell, chink shell
|Lacuna variegata from eelgrass in Padilla Bay. Length about 6 mm|
|(Photo by: Dave Cowles, July 2008)|
How to Distinguish from Similar Species: The species may look much like Littorina scutulata, but L. scutulata has no open umbilicus and is found in the high intertidal on rocks while this species is in the very low intertidal on eelgrass. Several other local Lacuna have apertures 2/3 the height of the shell. L. vincta has a spiral white band and is found on rocky shores.
Geographical Range: Prince William Sound, Alaska to southern California. Unlikely to be found south of Washington State.
Depth Range: Low intertidal
Habitat: Mainly on eelgrass.
Biology/Natural History: Feeds
on diatoms on eelgrass. Lacuna
species hybridize readily and can be hard to distinguish. This species
lays a small ring of eggs on eelgrass or kelp, in late spring/early summer
around Rosario. The ring is greenish as first but becomes yellow
as the eggs mature.
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Lamb and Hanby, 2005
O'Clair and O'Clair, 1998
General Notes and Observations: Locations,
abundances, unusual behaviors:
These snails and their eggs are common on the eelgrass of Padilla
This view shows both the operculum and the open umbilicus. Note that the aperture is very close to or just over half the height of the shell.