Marine Biology

, Volume 112, Issue 4, pp 573–581 | Cite as

Surface activity, zonation and migrations of Talitrus saltator on a Mediterranean beach

  • F. Scapini
  • L. Chelazzi
  • I. Colombini
  • M. Fallaci


The present study considers a population of Talitrus saltator (Montagu, 1808) living along a Mediterranean beach (Burano, Grosseto, Italy). From April 1986 to March 1987 the annual and daily patterns of amphipod activity were analysed together with zonation and the direction and extent of movements. An annual bimodal activity pattern was established with a first peak of activity in late spring and another one in autumn. Daily activity was predominantly nocturanl with two peaks, one of which could be suppressed or depressed in accordance with particular climatic conditions. The species studied was generally limited to the eu- and supralittoral part of the beach, but the extent of zonation could vary according to climate. Differences between juveniles and adults appeared both for activity patterns and for zonation. Movements were predominantly (ca. 85%) along the sea/land axis with a landward migration always followed by seaward one. Under conditions of high relative humidity and rain, the migrations towards land could extend to the dune. Movements parallel to the shoreline were demonstrated in a separate experiment (in June and October 1987 and June 1988) using the capture-mark-recapture method. The maximum distance covered registered in one night was 200 m.


Migration Relative Humidity Beach Climatic Condition Daily Activity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature cited

  1. Batschelet, E. (1981). Circular statistics in biology. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  2. Brown, A. C., McLachlan, A. (1990). Ecology of sandy shores. Elsevier, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  3. Chelazzi, G., Ferrara, F. (1978). Researches on the coast of Somalia. The shore and the dune of Sar Uanle. 19. Zonation and activity of terrestrial Isopods (Oniscoidea). Monitore zool. ital. Suppl. (Nuova Serie) 11: 189–219Google Scholar
  4. Chelazzi, L., Colombini, I., Bertin, G., Cianfanelli, A., Fallaci, M., Lucarelli, E., Mascagni, A. (1990). Gli artropodi del tombolo antistante la Laguna di Burano (GR): ambiente, microclima e primi dati sul popolamento animale. “Redia” (2) 73: 307–344Google Scholar
  5. Colombini, I. (1989). Eco-ecologia del carabide predatore Eurynebria complanata (Linneo, 1767) (Insecta, Coleoptera) nelle diverse fasi del ciclo biologico. Tesi di Dottorato in Biologia Animale (Etologia). Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e Genetica, Università di Firenze, RomeGoogle Scholar
  6. David, R. (1936). Recherches sur la biologie et l'intersexualité de Talitrus saltator Mont. Bull. biol. Fr. Belg. 70: 332–357Google Scholar
  7. Geppetti, L., Tongiorgi, P. (1967a). Nocturnal migration of Talitrus saltator (Montagu) (Crustacea-Amphipoda). Monitore zool. ital. (Nuova Serie) 1: 37–40Google Scholar
  8. Geppetti, L., Tongiorgi, P. (1967b). Ricerche ecologiche sugli Artropodi di una spiaggia sabbiosa del litorale tirrenico. II. Le migrazioni di Talitrus saltator (Montagu) (Crustacea-Amphipoda). “Redia” 50: 309–336Google Scholar
  9. Mancini, F., Fierro, G., Cortemiglia G. C., La Monica, G. B., Zunica, M. (1985). Atlante delle Spiagge Italiane Dinamismo-Tendenze Evolutive-Opere Umane. S.EL.C.A. (Società Elaborazioni Cartografiche), Firenze.Google Scholar
  10. Morrit, D. (1987). Evaporative water loss under desiccation stress in semiterrestrial and terrestrial amphipods (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Talitridae). J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 111: 145–157Google Scholar
  11. Palluault, M. (1954). Notes écologiques sur le Talitrus saltator L. Archs Zool. exp. gén. 91: 105–129Google Scholar
  12. Pardi, L. (1960). Innate components in the solar orientation of littoral amphipods. Cold Spring Harb. Symp. quant. Biol. 25: 394–401Google Scholar
  13. Pardi, L., Ercolini, A. (1986). Zonal recovery mechanisms in talitrid crustaceans. Boll. Zool. 53: 139–160Google Scholar
  14. Pardi, L., Ercolini, A., Ferrara, F. (1974). Ritmo di attività e migrazioni di un Crostaceo Anfipodo (Talorchestia martensii Weber) sul litorale della Somalia. Atti Accad. naz. Lincei Rc. (Closse Sci. fis. mat. nat.) (8) 55 (1973): 609–623Google Scholar
  15. Pardi, L., Papi, F. (1952). Die Sonne als Kompaß bei Talitrus saltator (Montagu) (Amphipoda, Talitridae). Naturwissenschaften 39: 262–263Google Scholar
  16. Pardi, L., Papi, F. (1953). Ricerche sull'orientamento di Talitrus saltator (Montagu) (Crustacea, Amphipoda). Z. vergl. Physiol. 35: 459–518Google Scholar
  17. Pardi, L., Scapini, F. (1983). Inheritance of solar direction finding in sandhoppers: mass-crossing experiments. J. comp. Physiol. (Sect. A) 151: 435–440Google Scholar
  18. Rüppell, G. (1967). Tagesrhythmische und langfristige Faunenverschiebungen im marinen Supralitoral. Z. Morph. Ökol. Tiere 60: 338–375Google Scholar
  19. Scapini, F., De Matthaeis, E. (1990). Genetic homeostasis and orientation in sandhoppers. 3rd Int. Int. Conf. Behavl Ecol., Uppsala, Sweden, August 22–26, 1990Google Scholar
  20. Scapini, F., Ugolini, A., Pardi, L. (1985). Inheritance of solar direction finding in sandhoppers. II. Differences in arcuated coastlines. J. comp. Physiol. (Sect. A) 156: 729–735Google Scholar
  21. Tongiorgi, P. (1963). Ricerche ecologiche sugli Artropodi di una spiaggia sabbiosa del litorale tirenico. I. Caratteristiche generali dell'ambiente e metodi di studio. “Redia” 48: 165–177Google Scholar
  22. Walter, H., Harnickell, E., Mueller-Dombois, D. (1975). Climatediagram maps of the individual continents and the ecological regions of the earth. Springer-Verlag, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  23. Williams, J. A. (1978). The annual pattern of reproduction of Talitrus saltator (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Talitridae). J. Zool. Lond. 184: 231–244Google Scholar
  24. Williams, J. A. (1980). Environmental influence on the locomotor activity rhythm of Talitrus saltator (Crustacea: Amphipoda). Mar. Biol. 57: 7–16Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Scapini
    • 1
  • L. Chelazzi
    • 2
  • I. Colombini
    • 2
  • M. Fallaci
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e Geneticadell'Università di FirenzeFirenzeItaly
  2. 2.Centro di Stuidio per la Faunistica ed Ecologia Tropicali dell'Università di Firenzedell'Università di FirenzeFirenzeItaly

Personalised recommendations