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The Seashore

Lasaea adansoni (L. rubra)

This is a tiny bivalve mollusc that is barely a few millimetres across. It is one of the commonest species on the shore but its presence is not obvious as it hides in small crevices, dead barnacles "shells" and amongst Lichina pygmaea.

Lasaea adansoni (L. rubra)

Close up of Lasaea.

Numbers on exposed shores maybe impressive due to the abundance of suitable micro-habitats. It can move quickly to avoid predation and wave action but survives this best by anchoring itself down by temporary byssus threads. These protein strands are secreted rapidly by byssus glands. The bivalve is a suspension feeder filtering sea water rapidly during its short immersion. They are hermaphrodites but can self fertilise, breeding when they reach their second year. As many as 35 embryos may be incubate, emergence in south-west Britain is usually in August. They live for about 3 years.

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