A morphoanatomical approach to the adaptive features of the epidermis and proboscis of a marine Polychaeta: Eulalia viridis (Phyllodocida: Phyllodocidae)

A. P. Rodrigo, C. Martins, M. H. Costa, A. P. Alves de Matos, P. M. Costa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Eulalia viridis is a marine Polychaeta of the rocky intertidal that, despite its simple anatomy, is an active predator of much larger invertebrates, from which it extracts pieces of soft tissue through suction. This uncanny feeding strategy triggered the pursuit for the morphological mechanisms that enable adaptation to its environment. The evaluation of the worm anatomy and microanatomy, combining electron and optical microscopy, revealed a series of particular adaptations in the epidermis and in the proboscis (the heavily muscled eversible pharynx). Besides its function in feeding, the proboscis is the main sensory organ, being equipped with numerous sensorial papillae holding chemoreceptors. Additionally, the proboscis possesses tentacles that become exposed when the organ is everted. These provide fast release of mucus and toxins, from mucocytes and special serous cells, respectively (the latter involving both merocrine and apocrine processes), whenever contact with a prey occurs. In its turn, the epidermis provides protection by cuticle and mucus secretion and has a sensorial function that may be associated to the worm's uncommon green pigment cells. Eulalia viridis presents a series of elegant adaptive tools to cope with its environment that are evolutionarily designed to counterbalance its relatively simple body plan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-579
Number of pages13
JournalJournal Of Anatomy
Volume233
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

Keywords

  • functional anatomy
  • histology
  • microscopy
  • secretory cells
  • serous cells
  • toxin

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A morphoanatomical approach to the adaptive features of the epidermis and proboscis of a marine Polychaeta: Eulalia viridis (Phyllodocida: Phyllodocidae)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this