Molluscan ResearchISSN 1323-5818
 An international journal of the Malacological Society of Australasia and 
the Society for the Study of Molluscan Diversity published by Magnolia Press

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Molluscan Research 32(1): 55–58; published 30 Mar. 2012
Copyright © The Malacological Society of Australasia & the Society for the Study of Molluscan Diversity

Native predator and alien prey: Lepsiella (Bedeva) hanleyi (Muricidae) feeding on Mytilus galloprovincialis (Mytilidae) in the Swan River, Perth, Western Australia 


Department of Zoology, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, U.K. Email: 


In the estuary of the Swan River, Western Australia, the muricid caenogastropod Lepsiella (Bedeva) hanleyi has been found attacking the alien mytilid bivalve Mytilus galloprovincialis by shell drilling. Attacks were nearly always to the antero- and postero-dorsal regions of the mussel’s shell in either valve approximately equally. This is because ventral byssal attachment inhibits attacks in this location. No M. galloprovincialis individuals with shells of length >20 mm were attacked. A tenet of alien introductions is that success is possibly enhanced because native predators do not recognize them. This study confirms other studies and laboratory experiments on the congener Lepsiella vinosa that, provided the alien is morphologically similar to natural prey, one of which as here identified is Brachidontes ustulatus, then these generalist muricid predators can readily attack them. 

Key words: Gastropoda, Caenogastropoda, predation, shell drilling, alien prey

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