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Title: Epitonium millecostatum and Coralliophila clathrata: Two Prosobranch Gastropods Symbiotic with Indo-Pacific Palythoa (Coelenterata: Zoanthidae) 
Author: Robertson, Robert
Date: 1980-01
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
Citation: Robertson R. 1980. Epitonium millecostatum and Coralliophila clathrata: two prosobranch gastropods symbiotic with Indo-Pacific Palythoa (Coelenterata: Zoanthidae). Pac Sci 34(1): 1-17.
Abstract: Two little known prosobraneh gastropods, the wentletrap
Epitonium millecostatum (Pease 1860-1861) and the muricacean Coralliophila
clathrata (A. Adams 1854), are both obligate symbionts of the colonial
zoanthid sea anemone Palythoa. Data are given on the taxonomy of both
gastropods, and on their symbioses in the Maldive Islands, Sri Lanka
(Ceylon), and the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Neither species had been
reported previously from any of these regions, and the known range of
C. clathrata is also extended to Zanzibar and the Marquesas Islands.
Coralliophila sugimotonis Kuroda 1930 is shown definitely to be a synonym of
C. clathrata.
Palythoa sloughs off nematocysts and zooxanthellae in its mucus, and both
gastropods ingest this;·they do not ingest the Palythoa tissue or polyps, which
contain sand grains. The feces of the Epitonium consist chiefly of discharged
nematocysts; while those of the Coralliophila consist chiefly of remnants of
zooxanthellae. Both species presumably digest the mucus. The Epitonium also
digests the zooxanthellae, thereby being in part herbivorous, and the
Coralliophila apparently also digests the nematocysts. Both species have small
eggs and a planktotrophic larval stage lasting about a month or more. The
larvae of the two species must have well-developed settlement responses to
Palythoa, which is sparsely and patchily dispersed in shallow water.
Frequencies of the adult gastropods with Palythoa are low.
ISSN: 0030-8870

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