The anatomy of Addisonia (Mollusca, Gastropoda)

Research paper by Gerhard Haszprunar

Indexed on: 01 Mar '87Published on: 01 Mar '87Published in: Zoomorphology


The organization of Addisonia lateralis (Requien, 1848) and A. brophyi McLean, 1985 is described. Addisonia species have a thin, asymmetrical, cup-like shell and a very simple shell muscle. Eyes, oral lappets and epipodial tentacles are absent and the right cephalic tentacle is also used as a copulatory organ. Most characteristic is the enormously developed gill which is enlarged into the right subpallial cavity. It is composed of about 30 leaflets with skeletal rods and its epithelia are uniquely arranged. The heart is large and the single auricle is situated anteriorly left. There are two kidneys: the left is small, while the right forms large coelomic cavities and has no connection with the pericardium or the hermaphroditic genital system. Testis and ovary are separate: both have a simple duct proper (vas deferens, oviduct). They are connected to the copulatory organ by an open seminal groove; a small receptaculum is present. The mouth opening is typically triangular, with no jaws or subradular sense organs. Addisonia possesses tuft-like salivary glands, a radula diverticulum and distinct, tubular oesophageal glands. The oesophagus itself is simple. The radula and the posterior alimentary tract are unique; the stomach is completely reduced and the intestine forms a pseudostomach. The streptoneurous, hyoathroid nervous system has pedal cords with three commissures. The visceral loop is also cord-like. A single (left) osphradium is present and the small statocysts have several statocones.The peculiarities and unique combination of primitive and advanced characters in Addisonia reflect a highly enigmatic organization among the Archaeogastropoda. Possible relationships to other archaeogastropod groups are discussed.