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Fast-Strike Feeding Behavior in a Pteropod Mollusk, Clione limacina Phipps

Department of Zoology, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287 and Friday Harbor Laboratories, Friday Harbor, Washington 98250

High speed cinematography and video recordings were used to evaluate the fast-strike feeding response by which Clione limacina captures its prey, Limacina helicina. The acquisition phase of feeding involves rapid mouth opening and extrusion of three pairs of buccal cones. Mouth opening occurs in 10 to 20 ms, while hydrostatic inflation of the buccal cones takes 50 to 70 ms. Buccal cones are immediately retracted if prey are not contacted. Buccal cones surround the prey and release a viscous material that may be used as an adhesive attachment to the prey shell. Surface ultrastructure of the buccal cones reveals that they are studded with clusters of capitulate papillae, which appear to be the source of the viscous secretory material.