Car­niv­o­rous shell­fish one to watch out for

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

My sea­side rec­om­men­da­tions usu­ally re­volve around look­ing along the tide­line for in­ter­est­ing crea­tures, shells and egg cases washed up by the tide. Two things to look out for at this time of the year along our coast­line, par­tic­u­larly on sandy or muddy beaches, are the egg cases of a car­niv­o­rous shell and the ev­i­dence of its preda­tory skills. First look for the small banded shells and look for one with a very neat hole, drilled through it. That has been pre­dated by the alder neck­lace shell or neck­lace shell which has found its prey and drilled through the shell and sucked out the con­tents. Great. Alder neck­lace shell lay bands of eggs in a coil and if the winds are right, they can be washed ashore in great num­bers. They look like leath­ery col­lars or neck­laces, bound to­gether with mu­cus and sand grains or mud. The neck­lace shell it­self is a small coiled shell, sim­i­lar to a whelk, but much smaller and can oc­ca­sion­ally get washed as well, but it is the prey and the egg cases which are more fre­quent.

For more in­for­ma­tion log on to Owen Leyshon, Rom­ney Marsh Coun­try­side Project, tele­phone 01797 367934 or log on to www.rmcp.co.uk

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