Radular morphology by using SEM in Pugilina cochlidium (Gastropoda: Melongenidae) populations, from Thondi coast-Palk Bay in Tamil Nadu-South East coast of India

Abstract Radula in all melongeninae species is rather uniform and characterized by bicuspid lateral teeth with strongly curved cusps and sub rectangular rachidians, bearing usually 3 cusps. The aim of the present study was to describe the radula of 2 Pugilina cochlidium populations using SEM. The radula in 2 species proves itself as a rachiglossate type showing the radular formula of 1 + R + 1. The first population hasthe central tooth wide with sharp cusps equal in length, emanate from posterior margin of tooth base. The lateral teeth have 2 cusps and are long, sharp, pointed and bent towards the rachidian tooth. Whereas the second population, the central tooth is narrow with sharp cusps equal in length, emanate from posterior margin of tooth base. The lateral teeth have 2 cusps and are broad, longer, sharp, pointed and bent towards the rachidian tooth. They are typically sickle shaped with broad strong base. In both populations the rachidian tooth is subquadrate with 3 big cusps in the middle, but in the second population the base of the rachidian is concave while in the first population it is straight. In the present study the median rachidian of the second population, has a broad basal region when compared to first. This similar observation has been made in Chicoreus virgineus ponderosus and Siratus virgineus ponderosus. In the present study, since 2 populations exhibit the same generalized rachiglossate pattern it does not offer much scope for systematic diagnosis below generic level.