Fine structure of the cephalic sensory organ in veliger larvae of Littorina littorea, (L.) (Mesogastropoda, Littorinidae)

  • Daniela Uthe
Conference paper
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology book series (DIHY, volume 111)


The cephalic sensory organ (CSO) in planktonic veliger larvae of Littorina littorea is situated dorsally between the velar lobes at the level of the shell aperture. It consists of ciliated primary sensory cells, adjacent accessory cells and supporting epithelial cells. Cell bodies of the ciliated cells originate in the cerebral commissure and their dendrites pass to the epidermis. The flask-shaped sensory cells are characterized by a deep invaginated lumen with modified cilia arising from the cell surface in the lumen. These cilia are presumed to be non-motile because they lack striated rootlets and show a modified microtubular pattern (6 + 2, 7 + 2 and 8 + 2). The adjacent accessory cells never possess an invaginated lumen; occasionally cilia and branched microvilli arise from the apical surface. These cells may be sensory, but there is no obvious direct connection with the nervous system. The supporting epithelial cells are part of the epidermis and flank the apical necks of the sensory and accessory cells. Morphological evidence suggests that the CSO may function in chemoreception related to substrate selection at settlement, feeding or other behaviour.

Key words

Littorina littorea veliger ultrastructure cephalic sensory organ ciliated sensory cells 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniela Uthe
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Spezielle Zoologie & Vergleichende EmbryologieUniversität MünsterMünsterGermany

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