Observations on the ontogenetic and intraspecific changes in the radula of Polycera aurantiomarginata García and Bobo, 1984 (Gastropoda Opisthobranchia ) from Southern Spain
Keywords:Polycera aurantiomarginata, Opisthobranchia, Gastropoda, radula, ontogenetic variation
Polycera aurantiomarginata García and Bobo 1984 has a stable population in the intertidal area of El Portil beach (Huelva, SW Spain). This fact allowed specimens of different sizes to be collected from March 2001 to December 2003. In this paper, the ontogenetic variations of the radula of P. aurantiomarginata are studied. The radulae of 141 specimens were examined, 138 from El Portil and 3 from La Herradura (Granada, SE Spain). Specimens of 1.5-2 mm in length lack the typical radula described for P. aurantiomarginata. They have the so called pre-radula whose teeth are different in size and shape from the typical radula of the adults. In the specimens of 3 and 4 mm the pre-radula coexists with the characteristic radula, which is the single structure present in the specimens larger than 4 mm. The following features of the radula are included in this study: radular length, number of teeth rows and length of the outer lateral teeth. According to the three measured variables, the affinities among specimens without a pre-radula were established through cluster analysis, which defined three different groups (4-10 mm, 11-22 mm and 23-48 mm). Correlations between specimen length and radula length, number of rows and mean length of outer lateral teeth were significant. Feeding strategies could be related to the different morphology of the radula established by the Cluster analysis.
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