Shell colour polymorphism in a mangrove snail Littorina sp. (Prosobranchia Littorinidae)

JANE M. HUGHES*, MICHAEL P. JONES

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Shell colour polymorphism was examined in populations of a mangrove snail Littorina sp. in Queensland, Australia. Three morphs were recognized, yellow, red and brown, and morph frequencies varied both between widely spaced populations and between islands less than 1 km apart. Morph frequencies also varied with time of year. There was a relationship between shell colour and position on the tree, with yellow snails more often occurring amongst the foliage and brown snails more often on trunks and branches. In some populations yellow snails appeared to survive better than the other morphs, while in other populations there was no difference. The evidence for the maintenance of the polymorphism by natural selection is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-378
Number of pages14
JournalBiological Journal of the Linnean Society
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • colour polymorphism
  • Littorina sp.
  • natural selection
  • selective predation

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