Alternate Title

Diet of the Periwinkle Littorina irrorata in a Louisiana Salt Marsh

Document Type

Short Communication


The diet of the periwinkle Littorina irrorata was examined. The food substrate utilized most frequently in the field was dead Spartina alterniflora. The primary component of the stomach and feces was vascular plant particles. Plant particles, even though a major portion of the diet, were egested unaltered in feces. Other food substrates contributed significantly to the diet. Marsh sediment was utilized by 37% of all snails observed to be feeding, while 4% grazed on live S. alterniflora. Algal mats, present on several occasions during the study, were utilized extensively. Comparison of microbial components in dead S. alterniflora and marsh sediment with those in the stomach and feces indicated that members of the microbial community of food substrates were assimilated.

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