(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)
Title: A behavioral and ultrastructural study of the function of the mantle flap of the neogastropod mollusk Olivella biplicata
Student Author(s): Rapport, Joshua L.
Faculty Advisor(s): Watanabe, James
Location: Final Papers Biology 175H
Date: June 1996
Abstract: The neogastropod mollusk Olivella biplicata possesses an extension of the mantle fold referred to as the mantle flap. Its function is undetermined. The structure extends from mantle tissue dorsal to the siphon and lays flat against the exposed top surface of the animal's shell, rarely covering more than approximately 20% of the shell surface. It may extend as far back as the apical whorl of the shell and can be fully retracted. Excised flaps begin regeneration within one week. The structure plays no part in the light sensing ability of the nocturnal snail, but may affect its ability to sense water-borne chemicals. Olivella with their mantle flaps artificially removed locate crushed Mytilus roughly one hour slower than unmanipulated counterparts (P<0.0l). Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and light microscopy reveal dense, motile cilia lining the lateral edges of the flab. SEM of the surface of the structure in direct contact with shell makes visible possible sensory cilia. No evidence was found for the potential role of the flap in shell cleaning. A program for future study directed at elucidating the function of the mantle flap is suggested.