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Free Content Feeding Behavior, Ceras Structure, and Nematocyst Storage in the Aeolid Nudibranch, Spurilla Neapolitana (Mollusca)

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The predation of Spurilla neapolitana on the sea anemones Anemonia sargassensis, Anthopleura krebsi, and Lebrunia danae was observed. Feeding behavior by Spurilla involved four distinct phases: approach, initial contact and withdrawal, re-approach, and feeding. Spurilla appeared to be stung by the anemones only during the first 1 to 3 min of feeding, suggesting a possible acclimation of the nudibranch to the anemone prey. It was found that the nematocyst complement of Spurilla could be replaced in only 6 days. Phase contrast, light, and scanning electron microscopy confirmed the existence of small bundles of sensory cilia, as well as larger, motile cilia presumably involved in movement of the mucous sheet. The bundles of cilia appear to be contributed by three or more cells. The cell surface of the ceras is covered with closely packed, interconnecting microvilli which may be sites for chemoreception and/or mucus secretion.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1977

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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