Invertebrate Neuroscience

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 133–140

Leaf mechanical properties modulate feeding movements and ingestive success of the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis

  • Christopher J. Large
  • Tammi Smith
  • Gemma Foulds
  • John D. Currey
  • Christopher J. H. Elliott
Original Paper
  • 59 Downloads

Abstract

We examined the mechanical properties of Butterhead and Iceberg lettuce leaves, and the rate at which they were eaten by the pond snail Lymnaeastagnalis. The outer part of Butterhead leaves were less robust than either the inner Butterhead or outer Iceberg leaves (Young’s modulus 2.8, 5.2, 7.7 MPa respectively; ultimate tensile stress 0.18, 0.34 0.51 MPa) which were also thicker. Snails ingested inner Butterhead and Iceberg strips more slowly (36 and 32%) than outer Butterhead. This was not due to differences in latency to first bite or biting rate. Rather, the drop was due to a decrease in the proportion of successful bites (inner Butterhead 84%; Iceberg 86%), to a shorter length ingested per bite (inner Butterhead 55%; Iceberg 45%) and to increased handling time (inner Butterhead 30%). We conclude that sensory input from the mechanically more robust lettuce slows the buccal central pattern generator.

Keywords

Lymnaea Mollusc Feeding Lettuce Biomechanics Sensory modulation 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher J. Large
    • 1
  • Tammi Smith
    • 1
  • Gemma Foulds
    • 1
  • John D. Currey
    • 1
  • Christopher J. H. Elliott
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of YorkYorkUK

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