The patterns of pigment distribution in the shell of the gastropod Littorina obtusata were studied. It was determined that the background coloration of the periwinkle shell resulted from the coloration interaction of the external and internal parts of the ostracum. The coloration of the latter can be monochromatic or twolayer. The external and/or internal zones of the ostracum can be colored purple, white, orange, yellow and greenish. Only 11 of 25 possible color combinations were recorded. Four additional versions of shell background coloration resulted from partial depigmentation of external or internal parts of ostracum. The mottling pattern corresponded to white or depigmented lenticular sites in the external part of the ostracum. The bands on the shell may be subdivided into two groups according to their means of formation. The bands that appeared due to redistribution of pigments forming background coloration belonged to the first group, the bands arising as a layer of additional (white, yellow, orange) pigment belonged to the second group. Various band versions could occur simultaneously in the same individual.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 6, 2007
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