Proboscis extrusion in Bullia (Nassariidae): A study of fluid skeletons in Gastropoda


*Herons Creek, Yealm View Road, Newton Ferrers, Devon PL8 IAN


The pleurembolic proboscis of Bullia functions in the manner of a classical hydrostatic skeleton. Its protrusion occurs both with high pressure pulses (2 KPa) in the cephalic sinus and at a steady standing pressure (0-2 KPa). The proboscis probably functions as a haemocoelic chamber separate from the cephalic sinus and pressure pulses from within the everted proboscis, but not the sinus, suggest that muscle antagonism occurs in a manner common to hydrostatic skeletons. The advantages of the proboscis having a hydrostatic skeleton are discussed.