Micromollusk families in 2 contrasting seasons in Bahia de los Angeles, Gulf of California, Mexico

Main Article Content

Elena Solana-Arellano
Victoria Díaz-Castañeda
Olga Flores-Uzeta


Marine mollusks provide important ecosystem services. They create habitats for benthic organisms, filter water, biodeposit organic carbon in the seafloor, and serve as food sources for other organisms. Studies of mollusk diversity require time-consuming methods to process samples and identify species. Thus, it is not surprising that most studies have focused on macromollusks that can be collected and processed easily, ignoring micromollusk species. Without understanding the ecology and distributions of micromollusks properly, it is impossible to assess their populations and implement adequate conservation measures. Here we present microgastropods collected in Bahia de los Angeles at the family level for September 2013 (summer) and February 2014 (winter). During each season, we sampled 6 coastal sediment stations, and analyzed depth, salinity, temperature, granulometry, and organic matter. A total of 20,353 specimens were collected: 15,310 in summer and 5,043 in winter. Seven micromollusk families were identified: Barleeidae, Caecidae, Cerithiidae, Eulimidae, Pyramidellidae, Rissoidae, and Tornidae. Caecidae and Barleeidae exhibited the highest densities among all families in summer and winter, respectively (278,044 ind·m–2, 142,222 ind·m–2). The lowest densities for summer and winter were observed for the Tornidae family (~1,867 ind·m–2, ~1,411 ind·m–2). Barleeidae, Caecidae, Cerithiidae, Rissoidae, and Tornidae were classified as herbivorous and detritivorous; Eulimidae and Pyramidellidae, as carnivorous and ectoparasitic. Tornidae and Eulimidae showed symbiotic relationships with various invertebrate species. The Bayesian analysis of variance indicated a high probability of differences only in summer (BF > 3). When comparing the stations in both periods, all stations, except station 6, showed differences between periods (BF > 3). The canonical correlation analysis indicated some associations between family abundances and temperature. This study provides valuable information that expands the knowledge of micromollusk biodiversity in the coastal area of Bahia de los Angeles, an important site for conservation in Mexico.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Solana-Arellano, E., Díaz-Castañeda, V., & Flores-Uzeta, O. (2023). Micromollusk families in 2 contrasting seasons in Bahia de los Angeles, Gulf of California, Mexico. Ciencias Marinas, 49. https://doi.org/10.7773/cm.y2023.3365
Research Article



Abbott RT. 1974. American Seashells. New York (NY): Van Nostrand Reinhold. 663 p.

Aguilera-Vilchis C, Rivas-Lechuga G. 2022. Estado del conocimiento del género Caecum Fleming, 1813 (Gastropoda: Caecidae) en México. XXV Congreso Nacional de Zoología; 2022 October 24-28, Ciudad de México, México. Mexico.

Álvarez-Borrego S. 2008. Oceanografía de la región de las grandes islas. In: Danemann DG, Ezcurra E (eds.), Bahía de Los Ángeles: recursos naturales y comunidad. Línea base 2007, Capítulo 2. Mexico: Pronatura Noroeste AC., Semarnat, INE, San Diego Natural History Museum. p. 45-64.

Amador-Buenrostro A, Serrano-Guzmán SJ, Argote-Espinoza ML. 1991. Modelado numérico de la circulación inducida

por el viento en Bahía de Los Ángeles, BC, México. Cienc Mar. 17(3):39-57. https://doi.org/10.7773/cm.v17i3.822 DOI: https://doi.org/10.7773/cm.v17i3.822

Andrade-Díaz C 2016. Trophic structure and flow in marine benthic communities of the Magellan region southern Chile [dissertation]. Bremen (Germany): Bremen University. 104 p.

Ángeles-González LE, Solana-Arellano E, Díaz-Castañeda V, Flores-Uzeta O, Necoechea-Zamora M. 2021. Soft-bottom macrofauna along the coast of Bahía de Los Ángeles, Gulf of California, during the summer and winter = Macrofauna de fondo blando a lo largo de la costa de bahía de Los Ángeles, golfo de California, durante el verano y el invierno. Cienc Mar. 47(1):49-59. https://doi.org/10.7773/cm.v47i1.3146 DOI: https://doi.org/10.7773/cm.v47i1.3146

Ankel WE. 1949. Die Mundbewaffnung der Pyramidelliden [The Pyramidellid’s mouth weapon]. Arch Molluskenkd. 77:79-82.

Argote ML, Amador A, Lavín MF, Hunter JR. 1995. Tidal dissipation and stratification in the Gulf of California. J Geophys Res. 100(8):16103-16118. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/95JC01500

Arruda E, Domaneschi O, Amaral AC. 2003. Mollusc feeding guilds on Sandy beaches in Sao Paulo State, Brazil. Mar Biol. 143:691-701. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00227-003-1103-y

Arvizu-Ruiz A, Reyes-Bonilla H. 2021. Characterization of food guilds of the class Gastropoda on the northeast rocky coast of the Gulf of California. CICIMAR Ocean. 36(1–2):37-46. DOI: https://doi.org/10.37543/oceanides.v36i1-2.262

Baker F, Hanna GD, Strong AM. 1928. Some Pyramidellidae from the Gulf of California. Proc Calif Acad Sci. 17(7):205-246.

Baker F, Hanna GD, Strong AM. 1930. Some rissoid Mollusca from the Gulf of California. Proc Calif Acad Sci. 19(4):23-40.

Baker F, Hanna GD, Strong AM. 1938. Some Mollusca of the families Cerithiopsidae, Cerithiidae and Cyclostrematidae from the Gulf of California and adjacent waters. Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 23:217-244.

Barnard JL, Grady JR. 1968. A Biological Survey of Bahia de Los Angeles, Gulf of California, Mexico. Trans San Diego Soc Nat Hist. 15(6):51-66.

Bartsch P. 1920. The west American mollusks of the families Rissoellidae and Synceratidae, and the rissoid genus Barleeia. Proc US Natl Mus. 58 (2331):159-176. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00963801.58-2331.159

Barrera N, Tunnell JW. 2001. Micromolluscan faunal survey of the East and West Flower Garden Banks, Long-term monitoring of the East and west Flower Gardens Banks, 1998-1999 Annual Report. New Orleans (LA): Texas A & M University, NOAA. p. 99-108.

Blanco-Betancourt R, Pacheco-Ruiz R, Guzmán-Calderón, JM, Zertuche-Gonzalez JA, Chee-Barragán A, Martínez-Díaz de León A, Gálvez-Téllez A, López-Vivas JM. 2004. Base de datos de la temperatura de agua de mar de seis bahías de la costa noroccidental del Golfo de california, México. Reporte técnico 2004(1). Ensenada (BC): IIO. p. 1-35.

Blanco C, Cano S, Cortes C, Montoya B. 2016. Micromoluscos (gastropodos) presentes en sedimentos del arrecife de Isla Verde, Veracruz. Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala, UNAM, México. Mexico City: UNAM; [accessed 2023 Aug 5]. https://www.academia.edu/26295084/Micromoluscos_Gastr%C3%B3podos_gasteropodos_del_arrecife_Verde_Veracruz.

Box GE, Tiao GC. 2011. Bayesian inference in statistical analysis (Vol. 40). India: John Wiley and Sons. 608 p.

Brusca RC. 1980. Common intertidal invertebrates of the Gulf of California. Tucson (AZ): University of Arizona Press. 558 p.

Byers SCH, Mills CEL, Steward PL. 1978. A comparison of methods of determining organic carbon in marine sediments, with suggestion for a standard method. Hidrobiologia. 58(1):43-47. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00018894

Byren L. 2004. Deposit-feeding macrofauna: tracer studies from the Baltic Sea [dissertation]. [Sweden]: Sotockholm University. 104 p.

Castillo-Rodríguez ZG. 2014. Biodiversidad de Molusco marinos en México. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad. Suplemento-Biodiversidad de México-enero. 85:419-430. https://doi.org/10.7550/rmb.33003 DOI: https://doi.org/10.7550/rmb.33003

Cavazos T. 2008. Clima. In: Danemann DG, Ezcurra E (eds.), Bahía de Los Ángeles: recursos naturales y comunidad. Línea base 2007, Capítulo 3. Mexico: Pronatura Noroeste AC., Semarnat, INE, San Diego Natural History Museum. p. 67-90.

Chapman AD. 2009. Numbers of Living Species in Australia and the World. 2nd ed. Canberra (Australia): Australian Biological Resources Study; [accessed 2012 Jun 17]. http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/abrs/publications/other/species-numbers/2009/04-02-groups-invertebrates.html#mollusca.

Coan EV. 1968. A biological survey of Bahía de los Ángeles, Gulf of California, México. III. Benthic Mollusca. San Diego Soc Nat Hist Trans. 15(8):107-132. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5962/bhl.part.12054

Couto T, Patrício J, Neto J, Ceia F, Franco J, Marques JC. 2010. The influence of mesh size in environmental quality assessment of estuarine macrobenthic communities. Ecol Ind. 10(6):1162-1173. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2010.03.019 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2010.03.019

Díaz-Castañeda V, Cox ET, Gazeau F, Fitzer S, Delille J, Alliouane S, Gattuso JP. 2019. Ocean acidification affects calcareous tube growth in adults and reared offspring of serpulid polychaetes. J Exp Biol. 222(13):1-11. https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.196543 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.196543

Doney S, Rockelshaus M, Duffy JE, Barry JP, Chan F, English CA, Galindo HM, Grebmeier JM, Hollowed AB, Knowlton N, et al. 2012. Climate change impacts on marine ecosystems. Mar Science. 4:11-37. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-marine-041911-111611

Esparza-Carrera M, Esqueda-González MC, Ruiz-Ramos R, Velázquez- Hernández M, Ruiz-Jara E. 2018. Conference: Registros de Micromoluscos del Pacifico Tropical Mexicano. [accessed 2018 Sep]. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/327925459_REGISTROS_DE_MICROMOLUSCOS_EN_EL_PACIFICO_TROPICAL_MEXICANO.

Esparza-Carrera M, Esqueda-González MC. 2019. Conference: Micromoluscos, minúsculos habitantes del Pacífico Tropical Mexicano. Jalisco (Mexico): Universidad de Guadalajara; [accessed 2019 Oct]. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/


Folk RL, Ward WC. 1957. Brazos River bar—A study in the significance of grain size parameters. J Sediment Petrol. 27:3-26. https://doi.org/10.1306/74D70646-2B21-11D7-8648000102C1865D DOI: https://doi.org/10.1306/74D70646-2B21-11D7-8648000102C1865D

Gama-Kwick N, Aguilar-Estrada LG, Quiroz-González N, Ruíz-Boijseauneau I. 2021. Nuevos registros de gasterópodos (Mollusca) asociados a macroalgas intermareales de Guerrero, México. Rev Mex Biodiversidad. 92:e923441. DOI: https://doi.org/10.22201/ib.20078706e.2021.92.3441

Garcés-Salazar SJ. 2011. Micromoluscos bivalvos de la bahía de Acapulco, Guerrero: composición específica y diversidad [BSc thesis]. [Mexico City (Mexico)]: Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. 75 p.

García-Cubas A. 1969. Ecologia y distribucion de los micromoluscos recientes de la Laguna de Tamiahua Veracruz, Ciudad de Mexico. Boletin del Instituto de Geologia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. 91:1-53.

García-Cubas A. 1982. Moluscos de un Sistema lagunar tropical en el sur del Golfo de Mexico (Laguna de Términos Campeche) = Mollusks of a tropical lagoon system in the southern Gulf of Mexico (Laguna de Términos, Campeche). Contribución 294. 1st ed. Mexico City (Mexico): Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnologia, UNAM. 181 p.

García-Cubas A. 1991. Ecología y distribución de los micromoluscos recientes de Laguna Madre, Tamaulipas Mexico. Boletin Instituto de Geologia 86: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. p. 1-44.

García-Tello ID. 2013. Moluscos gasterópodos de la Bahía de Acapulco, Guerrero, México: sistematica e indicadores ecológicos [BSc thesis]. [Mexico City (Mexico)]: Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. 86 p.

Gazeau F, Parker LM, Coumeau S, Gattuso JP, O’Connor WA, Martin S, Pörtner HO, Ross PM. 2013. Impacts of ocean acidification on marine shelled molluscs. Mar Biol. 160(8):2207-2245. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00227-013-2219-3 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00227-013-2219-3

[GBIF] GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY INFORMATION FACILITY BIF Secretariat. 2020. Backbone Taxonomy: GBIF; [accessed 2020 Jan 13]. https://www.gbif.org/species/5284517. https://doi.org/10.15468/39omei

Geiger DL, Marshall BA, Ponder WF, Sasaki T, Warén A. 2007. Techniques for collecting, handling, preparing, storing and examining small molluscan specimens. Mollus Res. 27(1):1-50. [Accesed 2014 Mar 29]. https://www.molluscabase.org/aphia.php?p=sourcedetails&id=176243.

Hansen-Bernal S. 2014. Micromoluscos asociados con macroalgas del intermareal rocoso de Michoacán, Oaxaca y Guerrero, México [BSc thesis]. [Mexico City (Mexico)]: Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. 40 p.

Hendrickx ME, Brusca RC, Cordero M, Ramírez GR. 2007. Marine and brackish-water molluscan biodiversity in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Sci Mar. 71(4):637-647. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3989/scimar.2007.71n4637

Kenneth RT. 1988. Nitrogen. In: Blackburn TH, Sorensen J (eds.), Benthic Food Chains, Chapter 9: Nitrogen Cycling in Coastal Marine Environment, SCOPE. Nueva Jersey (NY): John Wiley & Sons. p. 191-206.

McLean JH. 1978. Marine Shells of Southern California. Revised Edition: Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Science Series 24. p. 104.

McLean JH, Gosliner TM. 1996. The Gastropoda. In: Paul H, Scott J, Blake AJ, Lissner AL (eds.), Taxonomic Atlas of the Santa Maria Basin and Western Santa Barbara Channel, Vol. 9: The Mollusca part 2. Santa Barbara (CA): Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History press. p. 1-228.

Middelfart PU, Kirkendale LA, Wilson NG. 2016. Australian tropical marine micromolluscs: an overwhelming bias. Diversity. 8(3):17. https://doi.org/10.3390/d8030017 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/d8030017

Narciso S, Prieto-Arcas A, Acosta-Balbás V. 2005. Microgasterópodos asociados con el banco natural de la pepitona Arca zebra (Swainson, 1833; Mollusca: Bivalvia) ubicado en la localidad de Chacopata, Estado Sucre, Venezuela = Microgastropods associated with the natural bank of Arca zebra (Swainson, 1833; Mollusca: Bivalvia) located in Chacopata, Sucre State, Venezuela. Cienc Mar. 31(1A):119-124. http://dx.doi.org/10.7773/cm.v31i11.71 DOI: https://doi.org/10.7773/cm.v31i11.71

Naim O. 1988. Distributional pattern of mobile fauna associated with Halimeda on the Tiahura coral-reef complex (Morea, French Polynesia). Coral Reefs. 6(3):237-250. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/bf00302020 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00302020

Olabarria C, Chapman MG. 2001. Comparisons of patterns of spatial variation of microgastropods between two contrasting intertidal habitats. Mar Ecol Prog Ser. 220:201-211. http://doi.org/10.3354/meps220201 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps220201

Pimm SL. 1982. Food webs. In: Food Webs. Population and Community Biology ebook. Dordrecht (Holland): Springer. 219 p. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-5925-5_1 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-5925-5

Ponder W. 1983. Review of the genera of Barleeidae (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Rissoacea). Rec Aust Mus. 35(6):231-281. https://doi.org/10.3853/j.0067-1975.35.1983.320 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3853/j.0067-1975.35.1983.320

Ponder WF, Lindberg DR. 2008. Phylogeny and evolution of the Mollusca. Berkeley (CA): University of California press. 469 p. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520250925.001.0001

Pagliosa P. 2005. Another diet of worms: the applicability of polychaete feeding guilds as a useful conceptual framework and biological variable. Mar Ecol. 26(3–4):246-254. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0485.2005.00065.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0485.2005.00065.x

Raines BK. 2019. Caecidae of the northeast Pacific (Gastropoda: Caenogastropoda). Zoosymposia. 13:097-103. https://doi.org/10.11646/zoosymposia.13.1.10 DOI: https://doi.org/10.11646/zoosymposia.13.1.10

Raines BK. 2020. A Rosetta stone for eastern Pacific Caecidae (Gastropoda: Caenogastropoda). Zootaxa. 4827(1):1-146. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4827.1.1 DOI: https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4827.1.1

R Core Team. 2020. R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria; [accessed 2020 May 5]. https://www.r-project.org/index.html.

Rendón-Márquez G. 1995. Técnicas petrográficas para el estudio de rocas y sedimentos en el Laboratorio de Petrología. Informe técnico CTGOT6501. Ensenada (BC): Comunicación Académica Serie Geología CICESE. 33 p.

Rodríguez-Dowdell N, Enríquez-Andrade R, Cárdenas-Torres N. 2008. Tiburón Ballena. In Danemann DG, Ezcurra E (eds.), Bahía de Los Ángeles: recursos naturales y comunidad. Línea base 2007, Capítulo 13. Mexico: Pronatura Noroeste AC., SEMARNAT, INE, San Diego Natural History Museum. p. 363-384.

Robertson R, Mau-Lastovicka T. 1979. The ectoparasitism of Boonea and Fargoa (Gastropoda: Pyramidellidae). Biol Bull. 157(2):320-333. https://doi.org/10.2307/1541058 DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/1541058

Skoglund C. 1965. Gastropods of Cholla Bay, Sonora, Mexico. Biological Studies in the Gulf of California Vol. II. 17 p.

Sasaki T. 2008. Micromolluscs in Japan: taxonomic composition, habitats, and future topics. Zoosymposia. 1:147-232. https://doi.org/10.11646/zoosymposia.1.1.12 DOI: https://doi.org/10.11646/zoosymposia.1.1.12

Seminoff JA, Reséndiz-Hidalgo A, Jiménez de Reséndiz B, Nichols WJ, Todd-Jones T. 2008. Tortugas marinas. In: Danemann DG, Ezcurra E (eds.), Bahía de Los Ángeles: recursos naturales y comunidad. Línea base 2007, Capítulo 16. Mexico: Pronatura Noroeste AC., SEMARNAT, INE, San Diego Natural History Museum. p. 457-494.

Srivastava AK, Singh VK. 2021. Feeding Behaviours in Gastropod Molluscs. J Cell Mol Bio. [accessed 2021 April 16]; 5(1):013. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Arun-Srivastava-4/publication/350995090_Feeding_Behaviours_in_Gastropod_Molluscs_Journal_of_Cell_Molecular_Biology/links/607e9f858ea909241e1071b3/Feeding-Behaviours-in-Gastropod-Molluscs-Journal-of-Cell-Molecular-Biology.pdf

Schwartzlose R, Álvarez-Millán D, Brueggeman P. 1992. Gulf of California: Bibliography of Marine Sciences, California digital library, University of California. California: UC San Diego. 425 p. https://escholarship.org/uc/item/2973x3tq.

Shacklock PF, Doyle RW. 1983. Control of epiphytes in seaweed cultures using grazers. Aquaculture. 31(2–4):141-151. https://doi.org/10.1016/0044-8486(83)90308-3 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/0044-8486(83)90308-3

Tapia-Díaz P. 2018. Micromoluscos de Nayarit, México: sistemática e indicadores ecológicos [BSc thesis]. [Mexico City (Mexico)]: Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. 56 p.

Tripp-Quezada A, Tripp-Valdez A, Tripp-Valdez MA, Capetillo-Piñar N, Villalejo-Fuerte M. 2018. Composición y estructura de la comunidad de moluscos de fondos blandos de la isla Santa Cruz, golfo de California, México = Composition and community structure of soft bottom mollusks on Santa Cruz Island, Gulf of California, Mexico. Hidrobiológica. 28(1):51-59. https://doi.org/10.24275/uam/izt/dcbs/hidro/2018v28n1/Tripp DOI: https://doi.org/10.24275/uam/izt/dcbs/hidro/2018v28n1/Tripp

Most read articles by the same author(s)