New Paper in Journal of Zoology


In search of the glow—Three-dimensional reconstruction of Latia neritoides with specific focus on the mantel cavity (Mollusca; Gastropoda; Hygrophila).

Greistorfer S, Miller I, von Byern J, Meyer-Rochow VB, Geyer SH, Weninger WJ & Steiner G. 2024.
J Zool. . Published online 3 April 2024


The freshwater snail Latia neritoides occurs in certain streams and lakes of New Zealand's North Island. It defends itself against predators with a unique mechanism – the release of sticky, glowing mucus. Two possible origins of this defence mucus had earlier been suggested: the foot and the pneumostome area. After examining the glandular system of the foot in a previous study, in the present study we examined the general morphology of L. neritoides, focusing on the mantle cavity. With the first complete 3D model of L. neritoides now available, it is possible to evaluate previous morphological studies and to give non-specialists a better understanding of the soft part anatomy of this fascinating gastropod. As a by-product of this, we also compared the capabilities of μ-CT and HREM on a methodological level. We characterized the two most common gland types in the mantel cavity (Lmcg1/Lmcg2) on the basis of their ultrastructure. They are present in large numbers and, therefore, regarded as likely candidates for being the producers of one or more components of the defence mucus. This notion was confirmed by histochemical analyses of Lmcg1 and Lmcg2 and other gland types in L. neritoides.