See discussions, stats, and author profiles for this publication at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/327283357
Swift strike by the gastropod Scaphella junonia on its gastropod
prey Americoliva sayana
ArticleinBulletin of Marine Science -Miami- · August 2018
Some of the authors of this publication are also working on these related projects:
The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Atlantic. FAO Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations. View project
Florida United Malacologists View project
Jose H. Leal
Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum
48 PUBLICATIONS239 CITATIONS
Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum
9 PUBLICATIONS4 CITATIONS
All content following this page was uploaded by Jose H. Leal on 24 January 2019.
The user has requested enhancement of the downloaded file.
BULLETIN OF MARINE SCIENCE. 00(0):000–000. 0000
Bullen of Marine Science
© 2011 Rosensel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
of the University of Miami
Bulletin of Marine Science
© 2019 Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science of
the University of Miami Portraits of Marine Science
Bull Mar Sci. 95(1):27–28. 2019
Swift strike by the gastropod Scaphella junonia
on its gastropod prey Americoliva sayana
José H Leal *, Rebecca A Mensch
Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, 3075 Sanibel-Captiva Rd, Sanibel, Florida 33957.
* Corresponding author email: <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
We record for the ﬁrst time a strike by the volutid Scaphella junonia (Lamarck, 1804)
(“junonia”) on its preferred prey, the lettered olive, Americoliva sayana (Ravenel, 1834), and
the ensuing reaction of the latter to the attack. ree junonias were collected by one of us (RA
Mensch) during the Gulf of Mexico expedition, February 23–26, 2018, of R/V W
II, (GS Herbert, Chief Scientist). e junonias were kept alive in a 208-L tank with a layer of
sand of similar granulometry to the substrate at the collecting site, and fed lettered olives.
e male specimen featured here measures 82 mm and was collected on February 26, 2018,
at Station XXI N, 26°29.414´N–26°28.684´N, 83°29.553´W–83°29.049´W, 55.5–54.6 m depth.
e specimens will be deposited at the GS Herbert West Florida Shelf Collection, School of
Geosciences, University of South Florida.
Mollusk-eating volutids typically envelop their prey within the posterior part of the lon-
gitudinally folded foot, positioning the head in a ventral and posterior direction, into the
“chamber” thus formed to reach the prey (Ponder 1970, Bayer 1971, Vermeij 1978, Morton
1986, Bigatti et al. 2009, 2010). Morton (1986), after observing Melo melo (Lightfoot, 1786)
feeding on gastropods, remarked that “possibly a venom is produced from a pair of accessory
BULLETIN OF MARINE SCIENCE. VOL 00, NO 0. 000028 Bulletin of Marine Science. Vol 95, No 1. 2019
salivary glands and the pleurembolic proboscis everted into the immobilised prey,” but con-
ceded that this would be diﬃcu lt to observe as the proboscis is hidden from view by the folded
foot. Bigatti et al. (2009) studied Adelomelon ancilla (Lightfoot, 1786) feeding on mollusks,
stating that they release secretions from the accessory salivary glands into the “foot chamber”
to induce muscle relaxation in their prey. Bigatti et al. (2010) reported that Odontocymbiola
magellanica (Gmelin, 1791) captures their prey with the metapodial region of the foot, indi-
cating that the foot creates a “closed environment.” Bayer (1971) brieﬂy described a junonia
feeding in captivity. Given choices of diﬀerent mollusks and “other invertebrates,” the junonia
ate only three species of gastropods, with lettered olive as the favorite. Bayer noted that the
“prey was always held in the same manner. e junonia (...) inserted its head into the pouch
[the “foot chamber”] for a short time, after which the olive no longer showed any indication
e three junonias kept in captivity for the present study repeatedly perform a modiﬁed
“foot chamber” procedure, mostly using the foot chamber to move a captured lettered olive
around, after a strike in the open. is fast, “open-water” strike was observed several times in
the past 6 mo, and was documented in a 42-s video (by RA Mensch) available at https://youtu.
be/jk5xK6DFoDo. e video shows lettered olive approaching junonia from the right-hand
side of the latter. Panels A–D were from the video. On Panel A (21:27 s), junonia has made
contact with the lettered olive, mostly via its right tentacle, and starts to evert its proboscis
(arrow). On Panel B (24:14 s), the proboscis has been quickly extended; its tip (mouth) strikes
the lettered olive. On Panel C (25:05 s), the lettered olive recoils violently following the strike,
suggesting injection of toxin(s), most likely via piercing of the prey tegument by the radula.
Panel D (27:29 s) shows the lettered olive beginning to slide to the bottom, incapable of mov-
ing. ese events last only 06:02 s. Junonia subsequently ate the lettered olive. ese observa-
tions in captivity indicate that (1) unlike what happens with most mollusk-eating volutids,
predatory strikes by junonias can occur outside the “foot chamber,” (2) the strike is swift and
eﬀective, and (3) the quick recoiling reaction of the lettered olive after the strike suggests that
a fast-acting toxin, or more than one toxin, is (are) injected during the strike.
e authors thank GS Herbert, School of Geosciences, University of South Florida, for in-
viting RA Mensch to participate in the Gulf of Mexico Expedition of R/V W II,
funded by the Florida Institute of Oceanography and the School of Geosciences, University of
South Florida. ree anonymous reviewers provided suggestions and recommendations that
improved the quality of the manuscript.
Bayer FM. 1971. New and unusual mollusks collected by R/V J E P and R/V G
in the tropical western Atlantic. Bull Mar Sci. 21:111–236.
Bigatti G, Sanchez-Antelo CJM, Miloslavich P, Penchaszadeh PE. 2009. Feeding behavior of Adelomelon
ancilla (Lightfoot, 1786): A predatory neogastropod (Gastropoda: Volutidae) in Patagonian benthic
communities. Nautilus. 123(3):159–165.
Bigatti G, Sacristán H, Rodríguez MC, Stortz CA. 2010. Diet, prey narcotization and biochemical
composition of salivary glands secretions of the volutid snail Odontocymbiola magellanica. J Mar Biol
Assoc U K. 90(5):959–967. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0025315409991585
Morton B. 1986. e diet and prey capture mechanism of Melo melo (Prosobranchia: Volutidae). J Moll
Stud. 52:156–160. https://doi.org/10.1093/mollus/52.2.156
Ponder WF. 1970. e morphology of Alcithoe arabica (Gastropoda: Volutidae). Malacol Rev. 3:127–165.
Vermeij GJ. 1978. Biogeography and Adaptation: Patterns of Marine Life. Cambridge: Harvard University
Date Submitted: 13 August, 2018.
Date Accepted: 24 August, 2018.
Available Online: 28 August, 2018.
View publication statsView publication stats