The morphology of the osphradium in relation to feeding habits in meso- and neogastropods

  • Taylor J
  • Miller J
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The morphology of the osphradium in nine species of meso- and neogastropods was examined using scanning electron microscopy. Herbivores and detritivores (Littorina, Aporrhais) have simple osphradia consisting of long ridges, covered in ciliary tufts, and flanked on either side by bands of densely ciliated epithelium. Another herbivore Rhinoclavis has the central ridge divided into lobes. In carnivorous and predatory species (Polinices, Cypraea, Nucella, Nassarius, and Conus) the osphradium is shorter, larger and divided bi- or triserially, into leaflets. Conus stri-atus which feeds upon the most mobile and least predictable prey (fish) has the largest and most elaborate osphradium, with the leaflets divided into digitiform processes. The sedentary, ciliary-feeding, Crepidula is anomalous in having an osphradium divided into leaflets, although these are vestigial along one side.

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  • John D. Taylor

  • John A. Miller

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