(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)
Title: Communal variation in the territorial behavior of the archaeogastropod Lottia gigantea
Student Author(s): Lee, Gi Soo
Faculty Advisor(s): Denny, Mark W.
Location: Final Papers Biology 175H
Date: June 1996
Abstract: The wave-exposed, rocky outcrops of the intertidal zone at Hopkins Marine Station (Pacific Grove, CA) exhibit large numbers of Lottia gigantea grazing and homing on what appears to be shared territories. This contradicts previous studies in which Lottia were found to be solitary and territorial, aggressively repelling intruders and forming distinct territories of bare rock. This study observed 58 individually tagged limpets on four sites locaed on two vertical rock faces. By taking multiple observations of limpet displacements, recorded on predrawn maps of each site, limpet home scars and territory boundaries were identified. Limpet size and home scar height above mean lower water were also measured. Nineteen individuals were idenfified as non-territorial, 32 as territorial, and 7 an indistinguishable (no movement was recorded). Non-territorial limpets grazed an area larger than those of their territorial counterparts (mean=351 cm2 vs. 1299 cm2). The variation suggests that Lottia territorial behavior may be more complex than previously thought.