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Bittiolum varium(Pfeiffer, 1840)
Common Name: Variable bittium

Observed on hydroid-covered algae in shallows near shroe.
Natural History Notes
The variable bittium grazes on periphyton colonizing live eelgrass. It is preyed upon by the juvenile blue crab Callinectes sapidus Rathbun.
Shells reach 6.5 mm and are slender and high-spired. Shell color is variable, ranging from grayish white to dark purple-brown. Some shells have brown and white axial bands. The columella is stained with brown, and deep within the aperture, a brown spot adjacent to the varix is visible. The operculum is translucent and tinted with light brown. Axial ribs are crossed by spiral cords, forming four to five rows of rounded beads on each whorl. The early whorls are widest just above the suture. The two final whorls have a convex profile. The soft parts of the animal tend to be colored similarly to the shell. The underside of the foot is mostly white with opaque spots.
Other Literature
In Bocas Del Toro
Reported ByAxel A. Olsson & Thomas L. McGinty
Garcia, E.; Marine Invertebrate Taxonomy Workshop II, Bocas del Toro, August 2004
LocalityArchipelago de Bocas del Toro
CommentsLittle information available on this species... Ripe for further investigation!

Wright, R. A., Crowder, L. B., et al. 1996. Selective predation by blue crabs on the gastropod, Bittium varium: Confirmation from opercula found in the sediments. Estuaries. 1996;
19(1): 75-81

Redfern, C. 2001. Bahamian Seashells., Inc. Boca Raton, Florida. Pages: 21-2.

Van Montfrans, J., Orth, R. J, et al. 1982. Preliminary Studies of Grazing by Bittium varium on Eel grass Zostera marina Periphyton. Aquatic Botany. 14(1): 75-90

Olsson, A. A. & McGinty, T. L. 1958. Recent marine mollusks from the Caribbean Coast of Panama with the description of some new genera and species. Bulletins of American Paleontology Vol. 39 Nº303

Cote, J., Rakocinski, C. F., et al. 2001. Feeding efficiency by juvenile blue crabs on two common species of micrograzer snails. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 264(2): 189-208
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