TITLE

A mechanism aiding simultaneously reciprocal mating in snails

AUTHOR(S)
Chase, R.; Darbyson, E.; Horn, K. E.; Samarova, E.
PUB. DATE
January 2010
SOURCE
Canadian Journal of Zoology;Jan2010, Vol. 88 Issue 1, p99
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The majority of hermaphroditic animals mate on a given occasion as either male or female, but terrestrial snails and slugs generally mate reciprocally with each partner participating in both sexual roles. This manner of mating requires that the genitalia be exactly opposed prior to copulation attempts, a task made difficult in snails and slugs by the absence of hearing and very limited vision. In the brown garden snail, Cornu aspersum (Müller, 1774), we found that a small protruding structure associated with the genital atrium plays an important role in positioning the snails prior to copulation. Lesions of the penial lobe reduced mating success rates, delayed mating, increased the number of attempted intromissions, and increased the number of unilateral intromissions. The sensory capacity of the penial lobe is demonstrated by histological and electrophysiological evidence, and behavioral data suggest that the lobe is also a stimulus for the partner snail. A literature review suggests that structures functionally equivalent to the penial lobe may be present in many gastropod molluscs that mate simultaneously and reciprocally, but in none that mate in other ways.
ACCESSION #
47800162

 

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