dejayM's picture

Flat periwinkle eggs

Observed: 2nd May 2013 By: dejayM
Biological Recording In ScotlandHighland Biological Recording GroupOrkney Biodiversity Records Centre
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Amazingly there are few pictures of Periwinkle eggs on/in iSpot.
The best is here
Can one see little yellow peri's in the close up (Original Image)?
See comment

Species interactions

No interactions present.


dejayM's picture

long story..

A long debate here caused me to pause awhile.
But now I have some photos and web-'proof' that these small clumps, often with discernable mini-creatures inside, ARE in fact the eggs clusters of Littorina obtusata.
See evidence tucked away in here
But then there are other, closely related, candidates - L.fabalis, L.mariae, L.obtusata var. citrina, L. obtusata var. reticulata all seen here
This though does NOTHING for my confidence as the Edible Periwinkle is supposed "release egg capsules, containing two or three eggs, directly into the water during the spring tides."

Oh dear then!
But now see

gramandy's picture

you sure...

....not fabalis?

dejayM's picture


....well, not entirely Graham, though I see you have agreed with obtusata.
L.fabalis might be pretty rare here by my reckoning.
I do have one picture which I shall post up soon. It is very distinctive - see here
Thanks for your support and encouragement lately.
I have mailed David Fenwick about 'his' L.littorea egg masses not being right here

gramandy's picture

I like.... have these flats with the spire at the top and look perpendicular. L.obtusata has some spire, whilst fabalis (mariae) doesn't have any spire visible. The genitalia of course is the best way - but as I have alluded to in other postings - you need to recognise the male first as well as a bit of destructive surgery which I wholeheartedly do not recommend.

dejayM's picture


Yes, thanks. You're right about spires, so I have just added pic 4 here -

dejayM's picture


From Dave Fenwick - very gracious and somewhat inspiring.
"Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
You are perfectly right, egg masses of L. littorea are pelagic, just looked in Fish and Fish, ''A Students Guide to the Seashore''; I know where my mistake has come from an old ''Collins Guide to the Seashore'', which shows L. littorea eggs on Saw wrack. When I started APHOTOMARINE in 2006 it was the only reference book I had, so the mistake has gone unchecked until now.
Will change over the images in a moment."

gramandy's picture

great... see pics and IDs being put right.