Marine Biology

, Volume 137, Issue 3, pp 497–509 | Cite as

Comparative morphology and cytology of siphons and siphonal sensory organs in selected bivalve molluscs

  • L. Fishelson


 The form, anatomy and cytology of the water-passages in siphon-possessing and siphon-lacking species of a selected group of bivalve molluscs from the Red Sea (Callista florida, Circe currogata, C. crocea, Lucinia dentifera, Dosinia histrio, Pitar hebraea, Tridacna maxima, Pteria aegyptica), and from the Mediterranean Sea (Spondylus spinosus, Pinctada radiata, Pinna nobilis, Donax trunculus, D. semistriatus, Mactra stultorum, Tapes decussatus, Petricola lithophaga, Brachidontes pharaonis) were studied by means of light and electron microscopy. In the mytiloids, ostreoids and ptrioids studied, the water-passages are covered by a ciliated epithelium and the few tentacles around their openings are identical to those found on the mantle edges. Contrary to this, in the veneroids studied, the siphons are covered by a microvillar epithelium and their tentacles, especially of the inhalant siphon, reveal characteristic branching. The so-called Type I, Type II and Type III ciliated sensory organs on and within the siphons are similar to those observed in other bivalves, differing from each other in the dimension, number and form of cilia. In the studied mytiloid species only Type I and Type II organs were found. The form and structure of the siphons and the distribution of sensors on them can be used as markers for ecological as well as phylogenetic considerations.


Microscopy Electron Microscopy Bivalve Sensory Organ Bivalve Mollusc 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Fishelson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Zoology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel Tel.: +972-3-6408655; Fax: +972-3-6409403 e-mail:

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