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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276


Behavior of Biomphalaria glabrata Say, 1818 (Gastropoda: Planorbidae): I. Morphophysiology of the Mantle Cavity. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 1997, vol.92, n.2, pp.287-295. ISSN 0074-0276.

Using longitudinal and transverse anatomical sections, we observed that the three cristae of the mantle of Biomphalaria glabrata (renal, rectal and dorsolateral cristae) divide the mantle cavity into three chambers which we designated air or pulmonary chamber, water inflow chamber and water outflow chamber. Using videotape filming, we observed the inflow and outflow of air and water into and from the mantle cavity and we related their probable functions such as flotation, oxygen reservoir and transport, excreta circulation and elimination, water skeleton, and modification of specific weight. To determine whether the air bubble may function as a physical gill in this species we submitted three groups of snails to different systems in which water contained the same level of dissolved oxygen whereas the gas phases were atmospheric air, pure nitrogen or pure oxygen. We observed the following parameters: time of permanence on the surface, time of immersion, and frequency at which the snails reached the surface. These results did not demonstrate a physical gill function; morphological analysis of the mantle cavity indicates this possibility

Keywords : Biomphalaria glabrata; behavior; respiration; morphophysiology; mantle cavity.

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