Cochliolepis Parasitica, a Nonparasitic Marine Gastropod, and its Place in the Vitrinellidae
Abstract:Observations on Cochliolepis parasitica Stimpson show that this little snail is not a parasite on its host worm, Polydontes lupina (Stimpson), but is an herbivore or detritus feeder living as a commensal with the host scale worm. C. parasitica has a snout, a radula, and a crystalline style, all features of small rissoacean herbivorous snails. Both shell characters and soft-part anatomy place C. parasitica in the family Vitrinellidae, and these observations, along with the anatomical work of Fretter, enable us to characterize the more important features of the family.
The shell is depressed, and is transparent while the animal is alive. Soft parts include a pair of cephalic tentacles, two pallial tentacles which project from the posterior corner of the aperture, a gliding foot of moderate length, a circular multispiral operculum, a long, well-developed ctenidium, and a long, slender, curved penis in the male. The radula is taenioglossate.
The family apparently arose during the Cretaceous, and is found living today in warm and temperate seas.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 1972
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