Morphological Variation in the Shell of Strombus (Mollusca: Gastropoda) Across Several Local Habitats in Surigao del Sur, Southern Philippines

Fabio C. Ruaza, Danilo T. Dy


Shell characters are known to vary spatially in some mesogastropods. This study was conducted to determine the morphological shell variation of the Strombus across the several local habitats (muddy, sandy seagrass and corals) at Ganayon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur. Seven shell characters were measured in specimens of three commercially important species of Strombusnamely: Canarium urceus, Canarium labiatus and Gibberulus gibbosus. Multidimensional scaling (MDS) was used to detect dissimilarities of conspecifics of the three Strombus species. Results showed that populations of the two Strombus species (C. labiatus and G. gibbosus) were clustered in the same quadrant regardless of habitat types. The C. urceus specimens collected in the sandy and muddy seagrass beds were located differently in the two dimensional plot, suggesting bigger disparity between conspecifics. The C. urceus collected in the muddy seagrass were clustered together with C. labiatus. On the other hand, G. gibbosus was separately grouped in another quadrant. Correlation analysis among shell characters also showed the biggest difference in the number of significant correlation coefficient (i.e., lip thickness vs. other shell characters) between conspecifics of C. urceus collected at the two local habitats. The lip thickness of C. urceus is evident, suggesting some degree of phenotypic plasticity, but not in the other two species. This study confirms that certain shell character (i.e., lip thickness) in C. urceus exhibited differences between
adjacent habitats (sandy seagrass vs. muddy seagrass beds).


C. urceus, C. labiatus, conspecifics, G. gibbosus, phenetics, shell morphometry

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