Marine Biology

, Volume 65, Issue 2, pp 149–154 | Cite as

Habitat choice in the intertidal snail Tegula funebralis

  • B. A. Byers
  • J. B. Mitton


Intraspecific variation in habitat preference was studied in the black turban snail Tegula funebralis (Adams, 1854), at two locations on the northern U.S. Pacific Coast. Studies in 1977 using a mass-marking technique showed that most snails found either above or in permanent tidepools at low tide return to their original habitats within a few days after experimental habitat reversal. This return is not due to homing behavior, but is apparently based on the recognition of ecological characteristics of the two habitats. Experiments in 1978 with individually-marked snails suggest that they prefer specific intertidal levels, and not merely above-pool or in-pool habitats. Theoretical models predict that this behavior could play a major role in the maintenance of genetic polymorphism in a species like T. funebralis, whose intertidal environment is characterized by extreme spatial heterogeneity.


Theoretical Model Genetic Polymorphism Spatial Heterogeneity Habitat Preference Intraspecific Variation 
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. Byers, B. A.: The ecological behavioral genetics of habitat selection in an intertidal snail, Tegula funebralis, xvi+200 pp. Ph. D. thesis, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 1980Google Scholar
  2. Cavener, D.: Preference for ethanol in Drosophila melanogaster associated with the alcohol dehydrogenase polymorphism. Behav. Genet. 9, 359–365 (1979)Google Scholar
  3. De Souza, H. M. L., A. B. Da Cunha and E. P. Dos Santos: Adaptive polymorphism of behavior evolved in laboratory populations of Drosophila willistoni. Am. Nat. 104, 175–189 (1970)Google Scholar
  4. Fawcett, M. H.: The consequences of latitudinal variation in predation for some marine intertidal herbivores, 156 pp. Ph. D. thesis, University of California, Santa Barbara 1979Google Scholar
  5. Frank, P. W.: On home range of limpets. Am. Nat. 98, 99–104 (1964)Google Scholar
  6. Frank, P. W.: Latitudinal variation in the life history features of the black turban snail Tegula funebralis (Prosobranchia: Trochidae). Mar. Biol. 31, 181–192 (1975)Google Scholar
  7. Giesel, J. T.: On the maintenance of a shell pattern and behavior polymorphism in Acmaea digitalis, a limpet. Evolution, Lawrence, Kansas 24, 98–119 (1970)Google Scholar
  8. Hedrick, P. W., M. E. Ginevan and E. P. Ewing: Genetic polymorphism in heterogeneous environments. A. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 7, 1–32 (1976)Google Scholar
  9. Hewatt, W. G.: Observations on the homing limpet, Acmaea scabra Gould. Am. Midl. Nat. 24, 205–208 (1940)Google Scholar
  10. Kettlewell, H. B. D.: Recognition of appropriate backgrounds by the pale and black phases of Lepidoptera. Nature, Lond. 175, 943–944 (1955)Google Scholar
  11. Levene, H.: Genetic equilibrium when more than one niche is available. Am. Nat. 87, 331–333 (1953)Google Scholar
  12. Maynard Smith, J.: Sympatric speciation. Am. Nat. 100, 637–650 (1966)Google Scholar
  13. Newell, G. E.: The behavior of Littorina littorea (L.) under natural conditions and its relation to position on the shore. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 37, 229–239 (1958)Google Scholar
  14. Paine, R. T.: The Pisaster-Tegula interaction: prey patches, predator food preference, and intertidal community structure. Ecology 50, 950–961 (1969)Google Scholar
  15. Powell, J. R. and C. E. Taylor: Genetic variation in ecologically diverse environments. Am. Scient. 67, 590–596 (1979)Google Scholar
  16. Ricketts, E. F. and J. Calvin: Between Pacific tides, 4th ed. xiv+614 pp (Revised by J. W. Hedgepeth.) Stanford, California: Stanford University Press 1968Google Scholar
  17. Sargent, T. D.: Background selections of geometrid and noctuid moths. Science, N.Y. 154, 1674–1675 (1966)Google Scholar
  18. Sedlmair, H.: Verhaltens-, Resistenz-, und Gehäuseunterschiede bei den polymorphen Bänderschnecken Cepaea hortensis (Müll.) und Cepaea nemoralis (L.). Biol. Zbl. 75, 281–313 (1956)Google Scholar
  19. Silcock, M. and P. A. Parsons: Temperature preference differences between strains of Mus musculus, associated variables and ecological implications. Oecologia 12, 147–160 (1973)Google Scholar
  20. Sokal, R. R. and F. J. Rohlf: Biometry. The principles and practice of statistics in biological research, 776 pp. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman & Co. 1969Google Scholar
  21. Taylor, C. E.: Genetic loads in heterogeneous environments. Genetics, Austin, Tex. 80, 621–635 (1975)Google Scholar
  22. Taylor, C. E. and J. R. Powell: Habitat choice in natural populations of Drosophila. Oecologia 37, 69–75 (1978)Google Scholar
  23. Trpis, M. and W. Hausermann: Demonstration of differential domesticity of Aedes aegypti (L.) (Diptera, Culicidae) in Africa by mark-release-recapture. Bull. ent. Res. 65, 199–208 (1975)Google Scholar
  24. Wara, W. M. and B. B. Wright: The distribution and movement of Tegula funebralis in the intertidal region of Monterey Bay, California. Veliger 6 (Suppl.), 30–37 (1964)Google Scholar
  25. Wecker, S. C.: The role of early experience in habitat selection by the prairie deer mouse, P. maniculatus bairdii. Ecol. Monogr. 33, 307–325 (1963)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. A. Byers
    • 1
  • J. B. Mitton
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental, Population and Organismic BiologyUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA

Personalised recommendations