Marine Biology

, Volume 149, Issue 2, pp 247–255 | Cite as

Energy maximization by selective feeding on tissues of the venerid clam Marcia hiantina in the marine scavenger Nassarius festivus (Gastropoda: Nassariidae)

  • S. G. Cheung
  • Q. F. Gao
  • P. K. S. ShinEmail author
Research Article


Feeding selectivity of the intertidal scavenging gastropod Nassarius festivus on four types of tissue (soft tissue, adductor muscle, foot, mantle margin) of the venerid clam Marcia hiantina was studied by field observations and laboratory experiments. Both approaches showed similar results with the soft tissue and adductor muscle being much preferred. As the energy content of the four types of tissue was similar and individuals of N. festivus rearing in different types of tissue obtained similar growth rates both in shell length and in body wet weight, differential consumption was most likely determined by the palatability of the tissues. Energy intake in a meal for N. festivus was estimated at 10.92, 9.17, 3.86 and 2.02 cal meal−1 ind−1for soft tissue, adductor muscle, mantle margin, and foot, respectively. In view of the small size and sporadic distribution of the carrion, and intense competition among the conspecifics, selective feeding on more palatable tissues maximizes energy intake for scavengers like N. festivus.


Adductor Muscle Tissue Type Shell Length Digestive Gland Sand Surface 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Daisy Cheang for assistance in field and laboratory work, and Dr. Desmond O’Toole for constructive comments on the manuscript. The work described in this paper was fully supported by a strategic research grant from the City University of Hong Kong (Project No. 7001691).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology and ChemistryCity University of Hong KongKowloonHong Kong

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