Zoological Studies

Vol. 51 No. 7, 2012

AFeeding Behavior of Spurilla sp. (Mollusca: Opisthobranchia) with a Description of the Kleptocnidae Sequestered from Its Sea Anemone Prey

Agustín Garese1,*, Stella García-Matucheski2, Fabián H. Acuña1, and Claudia Muniain2

1Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (IIMyC), CONICET, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Funes 3350 (7600) Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2Laboratorio de Ecología Química y Biodiversidad Acuática, Instituto de Investigación e Ingeniería Ambiental, Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Campus Miguelete (1650), San Martín, Pcia. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Agustín Garese, Stella García-Matucheski, Fabián H. Acuña, and Claudia Muniain (2012) Cnidocysts are sequestered from cnidarian prey by aeolid nudibranchs and stored in the tips of their appendages (cerata).  The kleptocnidae of 11 specimens of Spurilla sp. are described in detail.  The types and relative abundances of prey cnidocysts in nudibranch cerata were highly variable, suggesting exclusive anemone consumption.  Spirocysts and several types of microbasic p-mastigophores, microbasic b-mastigophores, and basitrichs were found in external and internal tissues of sea anemone prey.  This is the 1st report of predation of aeolid Spurilla sp. on the sea anemones Antholoba achates, Metridium senile lobatum, and Parabunodactis imperfecta from the rocky intertidal of Patagonia (Chubut Province, Argentina) and on Anthothoe chilensis and Tricnidactis errans at Mar del Plata (Buenos Aires Province, Argentina).  Photographs and digital videos of aeolidacean feeding behavior were recorded in situ and in aquaria.  The purpose of this study was to provide valuable information on the diet of Spurilla sp. from Argentina using field observations and descriptions of the kleptocnidae. 

Key words: Nudibranchia Aeolidiidae, Cerata, Sea anemone, Argentina.

*Correspondence: E-mail:agarese@mdp.edu.ar; cmuniain@unsam.edu.ar