Trail following behaviour in relation to pedal mucus production in the intertidal gastropod Monodonta labio (Linnaeus)

Hutchinson, Neil, Davies, Mark S., Ng, Jasmine S.S., and Williams, Gray A. (2007) Trail following behaviour in relation to pedal mucus production in the intertidal gastropod Monodonta labio (Linnaeus). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 349 (2). pp. 313-322.

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Trail following behaviour and pedal mucus production were investigated in the mid-shore topshell, Monodonta labio (Linnaeus) in Hong Kong. On the shore, individuals exhibited both conspecific and self trail following while awash on ebb and flood tides, although fidelity to resting sites during emersion on successive days was low. In the laboratory, animals that encountered trails that had been aged on the shore for different periods showed similar patterns of movement (distance moved, speed and tortuosity) suggesting that degradation of cues in the mucus that animals responded to did not occur until N3 days post-deposition. Animals moved faster, with a lower rate of radular rasping, on freshly laid mucus trails than on a biofilm-covered substratum and did not change their speed when moving over aged (biofilm-covered) mucus compared to fresh mucus. Mucus production rates were similar when animals were crawling on vertical or horizontal surfaces, but significantly more mucus was produced when animals were emersed than when submerged. Mucus trail profiles were of variable thickness, but 'double' mucus trails (marker+tracker trails) did not contain significantly more mucus than 'single' trails (marker mucus only) and were considerably thinner than single trails suggesting tracker snails utilized mucus laid by marker snails, reducing their own deposition of mucus. Thus, while M. labio do not appear to utilize trails for orientation or refuge location, snails that follow trails have the potential to save energy through reducing mucus production or to gain energy through mucus ingestion. Given the role of pedal mucus production in the overall energy balance of gastropods, such energetic benefits are considerable and may have implications for the life history of the snail.

Item ID: 45432
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0022-0981
Keywords: Monodonta labio; mucus; mucus trail; trail following; tropical rocky shore
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2016 02:08
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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