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Ecological distribution and radula morphology of the giant keyhole limpet (Megathura crenulata).

62 ECOLOGICAL DISTRIBUTION AND RADULA MORPHOLOGY OF THE GIANT KEYHOLE LIMPET (MEGATHURA CRENULATA).

In southern California, the giant keyhole limpet (Megathura crenulata) is an important emerging fishery that has grown in commercial and scientific importance in the last twenty years. Giant keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) shows promising biomedical potential, yet scant ecological information and limited fishery regulations question whether wild limpet stocks can satisfy a growing commercial demand. In order to aid sustainable management practices and predict appropriate aquaculture techniques, this study examines the giant keyhole limpet from an ecological and morphological standpoint. Benthic data was collected by SCUBA and modified standard CRANE methodology in four depth zones of 11 reefs along the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Specimens collected in the field and obtained from Stellar Biotechnologies at body sizes ranging from <1 mm to 12 cm were dissected and radulae were processed for scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Species abundance and size frequencies were compared to abiotic and biotic reef characteristics and radula morphology was examined during development from post larva to mature adult. Ecological and morphological data suggest that giant keyhole limpets prefer shallow waters, bedrock substrate, and high relief and transition from microbe consumers to opportunistic omnivores during development from post larvae to adult. These results characterize factors influencing the giant keyhole limpet fishery and examine radula structure and function, serving as the first step toward implementing sustainable management practices and aquaculture techniques.

A. Mikovari. Vantuna Research Group. Department of Biology, Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA, 90041

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Title Annotation:POSTER SESSION ABSTRACTS IN PROGRAM ORDER
Author:Mikovari, A.
Publication:Bulletin (Southern California Academy of Sciences)
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2014
Words:248
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