Marine gastropods 1
Marine gastropods 1: Patellogastropoda and Vetigastropoda is the first of five volumes. It covers the two most recognisable subclasses: Patellogastropoda and Vetigastropoda. The popular names for these molluscs are limpets and topshells.
Since finding empty shells is common, the keys are based primarily on the characters shown by fully-grown shells. Additionally the authors have included external body features where they offer important aids to identification. There is also a key to all families of shelled marine gastropods found around Britain and Ireland. Each species account is headed by the currently accepted name, including taxonomic authority and date. Where applicable there is a list of alternative names for reference. Accompanying text covers diagnostic characters as well as habitat, food and distribution.
Collecting limpets and topshells is relatively easy. To find the smaller species, pluck tufts of seaweeds and wash them in a dish. More substantial algal habitats, such as kelp holdfasts, often reveal good numbers of small molluscs. Similarly species that dwell in mud and sand can be collected by sieving.
Synopses of the British Fauna is a series of identification guides. Each volume in the series is a detailed account of a group of animals. They bridge the gap between standard field guides and more specialised monograph or treatise. Since 1993 the the Field Studies Council has published these guides on behalf of the Linnean Society.
These volumes are suitable for the lab or field. The editors aim to keep them as user friendly as possible. Technical terminology is at a minimum and there is a glossary of terms. However the complexity of the subject matter makes the books more suitable for the more experienced practitioner.