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Behav Neurosci. 2003 Oct;117(5):1086-95.

Slime-trail tracking in the predatory snail, Euglandina rosea.

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Department of Biology, Morehouse College, Delkaware State University, 1200 North Dupont Highway, Dover, DE 19901, USA.


Euglandina rosea, a predatory land snail, tracks prey and mates by following slime trails. Euglandina follow slime trails more than 80% of the time, following trails of their own species, but not those of prey snails, in the direction that they were laid. The attractive elements of prey slime are small, water-soluble compounds detected by specialized lip extensions. Although olfaction plays no role in trail following, strong odors disrupt tracking. Inhibition of nitric oxide synthase also disrupts slime trail following, suggesting a role for nitric oxide in neural processing of slime trail stimuli. Euglandina can be conditioned to follow novel trails of glutamate or arginine paired with feeding on prey snails. These experiments demonstrate that slime-trail tracking in Euglandina is a robust, easily measured behavior that makes a good model system for studying sensory processing and learning in a novel modality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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