Morphological characteristics of respiratory and digestive organs of Roman snail (Helix pomatia L., 1758)

Keywords: Helix pomatia, Roman snail, morphology, lung, hepatopancreas


The aim of this work was to study the structure of lung and hepatopancreas of Roman snail (Helix of pomatia of L., 1758). The study found that the lung occupies the lower turn of shell and presented by a saccate cavity, in the wall of that there are a kidney and heart with a pericardium, and also a rectum and ureter pass. An external surface of lungs covered by a shell and covered by an epidermis. An internal surface is covered by a flat ciliated epithelium and forms numerous folds in which pulmonary vessels and lacunae are accommodated. The branches of pulmonary vein have a thick muscular wall, that consists of circular and longitudinal muscular layers. An internal surface of lungs covered by the layer of mucus. Inhalation and exhalation are carried out due to reduction and relaxation of muscles of dorsal wall of the body that is named a “diaphragm”. Gas exchange occurs through the hemolymphatic capillaries of the lung wall. Respiratory motions take place not rhythmically, but through the different intervals of time depending on a requirement in oxygen. The frequency of pneumostome closing and opening is typically one time in a minute. At subzero humidity of atmospheric air of pneumostome closed by a mantle, and also one (or a few) epiphragms. The hepatopancreas (“liver” or liver gland) is in the upper rotation of the sink and formed by two parts: right and left, from which two liver ducts enter into the stomach respectively. The liver gland consists of many acinuss, surrounded by connecting tissue, that contains small number of muscular fibres. Calcium cells have a pyramidal form and usually do not reach the lumen of the acinus. Cytoplasm of calcium cells contains inclusions: grains of phosphoricacid lime and drops of fat. The digestive cells of the hepatopencreas are more elongated, often clavicular. Сytoplasm of digestive cells is loose and vacuolated and contain inclusions of yellow-green color. Enzyme cells on histopreparations are difficult to distinguish from digestive ones. They contain transparent vacuoles with a large round inclusion of yellow-green color, which consists of a cluster of several grains of different sizes. Hepatopancreas performs the following functions: secretory (enzyme cells), absorption and intracellular digestion (digestive cells), preservation of nutrients and calcium (calcium cells), and also excretory function.


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Horvat, M., & Dankovych, R. (2020). Morphological characteristics of respiratory and digestive organs of Roman snail (Helix pomatia L., 1758). Scientific Messenger of LNU of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnologies. Series: Veterinary Sciences, 22(97), 7-12.