The control of burrowing and the migratory behaviour of Donax denticulatus (Bivalvia: Tellinacea)



Donax denticulatus burrows in a similar manner to other infaunal bivalves, but also reacts to stimulation by activity and so proved to be suitable material for experiments on the control of locomotion. Tactile responses of the foot initiate burrowing and pedal stretch receptors control the duration of each digging cycle. Prevention of adduction of the valves, removal of ligament or cardinal hinge teeth, had little effect on burrowing and it is suggested that part of the digging cycle is programmed within the nervous system without peripheral feedback. Experiments on migratory behaviour are discussed and indicate that no intrinsic mechanism is required for its control beyond the adaptation of behavioural responses, common to most bivalves, to different physical conditions.