Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
A detailed study has been made of the anatomy of one of the fingernail shells, and preliminary observations on the life-history have been carried out. In its general organization Sphaerium notatum is very similar to the larger fresh-water lamellibranchs. A gastric shield, crystalline style, and style sac, very similar to those found in the stomach and intestine of Lampsilis, are present. A pair of slender muscles extending from the dorsal side of the body into the gills, and evidently not previously described, have been found. The nervous system consists of the typical three pairs of lamellibranchiate ganglia, with their connectives, accessory ganglia, and nerve fibers. Particular study was given to the statocysts and osphradia, and attention is called to the fact that the function commonly ascribed to the osphradia is incompatible with their position in the roof of the cloacal chamber.S. notatum, like all the Sphaeriidae, is hermaphroditic and viviparous. The gonads are paired racemose glands lying behind and below the stomach. The sperm-producing follicles form the anterior portion of each gonad and are somewhat smaller and more numerous than the ova-producing follicles which form the posterior portion. The young pass through the early stages of development in brood pouches in the gills and are expelled as relatively enormous individuals.Preliminary observations on the life-history indicate that reproduction reaches its height in the summer and that fertilization probably takes place during the late summer and fall.
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