Northern Moonsnail

Northern moonsnail

Scientific Name: Lunatia heros

Phylum: Mollusca

Class: Gastropoda

Description: Northern Moonsnails can reach the size of 4in. They are distinguished by its opening umbilicus, and their colors range from gray to tan.

Distribution: They are usually found in inter-tidal plowing along, half-buried on beach flats or sub-tidal. Its distribution ranges from Labrador to North Carolina, on sandy bottoms.

Locomotion: With the help of mucus, Northern Moonsnails use an enormous, gliding foot to plow through the sand. Their foot is expanded using internal sinuses that are filled with haemolymph.

Food gathering: Northern Moonsnails prey on other mollusks, using their radula to drill a hole in their prey's shell.

Gas exchange: Northern Moonsnail has true gills beneath the shell.

Reproduction: The sexes are separated, with eggs being fertilized internally. Eggs are laid in a “sand collar” secreted by the foot.

Interesting facts: “Sand collars” containing their eggs are often found ashore.


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OSC Research

Mercier Lab - Research on reproduction, larval development, ecology and growth is carried out on a wide variety of marine invertebrates in this lab.