Neogastropoda: Marine gastropods 3

Marine gastropods 3 is the third of five volumes that cover the marine patellogastropod, vetigastropod and caenogastropod molluscs. The popular names for these molluscs are whelks and dog-whelks.

Since finding empty shells is common, the keys are based primarily on the characters shown by fully-grown shells. Additionally some external body features are included when they offer important aids to identification. In addition there is a key to all families of shelled marine gastropods found around Britain and Ireland. Accompanying text covers diagnostic characters as well as habitat, food and distribution. But in summary all the neogastropods are predatory or carrion feeders.

These animals are relatively easy to collect. Most live on rocky shores and boulder beaches. Only a few intertidal species live in sand or mud, although many sublittoral species occur on soft bottoms. 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.

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, with technical terminology at a minimum and a glossary of terms. However the complexity of the subject matter makes the books more suitable for the more experienced practitioner.