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Odostomia as a pest of oysters and mussels

  • H. A. Cole (a1) and D. A. Hancock (a1)

A recent study by Fretter & Graham (1949) has shown that members of the family Pyramidellidae are ectoparasites, each species feeding on a particular host, usually a tubicolous polychaete or a lamellibranch, by piercing the body wall with the buccal stylet and sucking blood, and perhaps tissue debris, by means of the buccal pump. A list of hosts, each with its specific parasite, was given.

Subsequently, Cole (1951) recorded the presence in oysters of a species, Odostomia eulimoides Hanley, which had been observed by Fretter & Graham, and recorded previously by Jeffreys (1867), as feeding on Pecten maximus (Linné) and Chlamys opercularis (Linné). The Odostomia were lodged in small pockets inside the ventral margin of the shell of 2-year-old native brood oysters dredged from near Paglesham in the River Roach, Essex. The pockets were formed as a consequence of the withdrawal of the mantle in response to the irritation caused by the proboscis of the parasite during feeding.

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Cole, H. A., 1951. An Odostomia attacking oysters. Nature, Lond., Vol. 168, pp. 953–4.
Fretter, V. & Graham, A., 1949. The structure and mode of life of the Pyramidellidae, parasitic opisthobranchs. J. Mar. biol. Ass. U.K., Vol. 28, pp. 493532.
Jeffreys, J. G., 1867. British Conchology, Vol. 4. London: John van Voorst.
Winckworth, R., 1932. The British marine Mollusca. J. Conch., Vol. 19, pp. 211–52.
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Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
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