The arrival of Sand Snail ‘jelly sausage’ egg masses on Bay beaches in October is timed to take advantage of the spring growth spurt. Increased average daily hours of sunlight, warmer water temperatures, and increased nutrient washed into the Bay by spring rains combine to stimulate growth of microscopic floating plants (phytoplankton).
These plants provide a good living for filter-feeding molluscs, which are preyed on by predator molluscs such as Sand Snails. But the most amazing fact in all of this is that the egg masses are commonly four times bigger than the animal that produced them! How do they do that?
Egg masses of Conical Sand Snails (Polinices conicus) and Moon Snails (Polinices sordidus) break up after a few days to release swimming larvae into the water. From this point on they’ll be hard pressed to avoid a fast-moving fish out cruising for a feed. You really have to admire the survivors who make it through to produce the next generation!