Phylum Mollusca / Class Gastropoda / Subclass Opisthobranchia / Order Thecosomata / Family Limacinidae
Limacina are common in arctic and high latitude temperate waters, where they may have a shell diameter up to 15 mm. Individuals in the southern part of the range (central and southern California) usually are between 1 to 3 mm. With their dark pigmentation they appear as dark specks when examining the contents of a plankton tow. The dark pigment can also stain the flesh of predatory fish. During daylight hours Limacina tend to migrate to deeper waters (down to 100 meters). Occasionally scuba divers may be treated to massive surface swarms during the day. Lurking in the midst of such swarms you can often find the gymnosome pteropod Clione, the arch-nemesis of Limacina that specializes in feeding on the tasty flesh.
All photographs © David Wrobel and may not be used or copied without permission!Home