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Thursday, November 12, 2015

The masses

Back in September, while doing a shorebird survey in Bodega Harbor, a couple of different egg masses on the tidal flats caught my eye.

They attracted my attention not only because they were so noticeable, but also because I have been doing shorebird surveys in the same area for over 10 years now and I didn't recall seeing these egg masses before.

One was bright yellow and wrapped around algae or seagrass:

The other was bright white, shaped like a corkscrew, and embedded in the sand:

I finally tracked down the snail making the yellow egg masses.  It was a bubble snail, Haminoea vesicula.  Here are two images to help you visualize how the yellow egg masses consist of rows of developing embryos:

I showed examples of adult bubble snails on 4 June 2015, so check out those pictures here.

I kept meaning to return to find out which species had produced the white corkscrew egg masses, but hadn't found the time.  Today Jeff helped me out he identified the distinctive egg masses as belonging to Rictaxis punctocaelatus.

Below are two close-ups of these spiraled egg masses: 

I haven't seen adult Rictaxis yet (it's been on my wish list!), but if you'd like to see examples of these wonderful local gastropods, check out pictures here.

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