gramandy's picture

Common whelk Egg Capsule (Eggcase?)

Observed: 23rd February 2013 By: gramandy
Kent Wildlife TrustThanet Coast ProjectWildwood Trust
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Common whelk Egg Capsule (Eggcase?)

One of the biggest Egg capsule (or eggcase for Scubaman :)) I have seen here. Are we in for a plethora of Whelks this season?

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Common whelk (Buccinum undatum) interacts


scubamann's picture

whelk egg cases

Pedantically what you have identified is the egg cases, not a whelk.

gramandy's picture

absolutely agree...

... however is this a whelk eggcase or an embryo capsule? As the eggs are released what does this become?

scubamann's picture


ha. you have got me on the pedantry!
I (and many other divers) have always known them colloquially as egg cases. However I read "the female will lay a mass of up to 2000 egg capsules, Each capsule contains approx. 1000 eggs. The vast majority of eggs and embryos fail to reach maturity and are used as food by the few that survive" [Great British Marine Animals, Paul Naylor]
So I guess they are not egg cases but capsules with eggs, and subsequently embryos, inside.
But it is still not the whelks.
Geoffrey :-o