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Nerita atramentosa facts for kids

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Nerita atramentosa
Nerita atramentosa (9274056004).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Phylum:
Class:
(unranked):
clade Neritimorpha
clade Cycloneritimorpha
Superfamily:
Neritoidea
Family:
Neritidae
Subfamily:
Neritinae
Genus:
Nerita
Species:
N. atramentosa
Binomial name
Nerita atramentosa
Reeve, 1855

Nerita atramentosa, common name the black nerite, is a medium-sized sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Neritidae, the nerites.

There has been some confusion over the taxonomy of the genus Nerita in the Pacific region; however, Nerita atramentosa and Nerita melanotragus are now recognised as separate species (the two have often been considered to be the same species).

Description

The size of the shell varies between 12 mm and 32 mm.


Ecology

Distribution

This nerite is endemic to the southern coastlands of Australia, including South Australia, southern Western Australia , Victoria and Tasmania. N. atramentosa occurs to the west of Wilsons Promontory in western Victoria, South Australia and southern Western Australia. The closely related species Nerita melanotragus occurs in eastern Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania.

Habitat

This species is commonly found on intertidal rocks, particularly in the mid to upper intertidal zone. It prefers to attach to sloped or vertical rock surfaces, or hang from the underside of rocks. This may be a method of thermoregulation, as if N. atramentosa is on a horizontal surface, it will absorb the maximum solar radiation. By contrast, if it is on a greater angle to the sun, it absorbs less energy (and thus heat). N. atramentosa exhibits trail following behaviour. The species feeds by scraping epilithic algae using their radula. Nerites are preyed upon by reef crabs (Ozius truncatus).

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