Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Journal Of Shellfish Research
The recent discovery of adult veined rapa whelks Rapana venosa (Valenciennes, 1846) in the Lower Chesapeake Bay, U.S.A. offers cause for both ecological and economic concern. Adult rapa whelks are large predatory gastropods that consume bivalves including commercially valuable species such as hard clams, Mercenaria mercenaria (Linnaeus, 1758). Laboratory feeding experiments were used to estimate daily consumption rates of two sizes of whelks feeding on two size classes of hard clams. Large rapa whelks (shell length, SL > 101 mm) are capable of consuming up to 2.7 g wet weight of clam tissue daily, equivalent to 0.8% of their body weight. Small whelks (60-100 mm SL) ingest an average of 3.6% of their body weight per day.
Rapa Whelk; Rapana Venosa; Hard Clam; Mercenaria Mercenaria; Predation; Chesapeake Bay
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Savini, D; Harding, JM; and Mann, Roger L., Rapa Whelk Rapana Venosa (Valenciennes, 1846) Predation Rates On Hard Clams Mercenaria Mercenaria (Linnaeus, 1758) (2002). Journal Of Shellfish Research, 21(2), 777-779.