Upside-down gliding of Lymnaea

Kanako Aono, Ayachika Fusada, Yorichika Fusada, Wataru Ishii, Yuji Kanaya, Mami Komuro, Kanae Matsui, Satoru Meguro, Ayumi Miyamae, Yurie Miyamae, Aya Murata, Shizuka Narita, Hiroe Nozaka, Wakana Saito, Ayumi Watanabe, Kaori Nishikata, Akira Kanazawa, Yutaka Fujito, Miki Yamagishi, Takashi AbeMasafumi Nagayama, Tsutomu Uchida, Kazutoshi Gohara, Ken Lukowiak, Etsuro Ito*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis can often be observed moving upside down on its back just below the surface of the water. We have termed this form of movement "upside-down gliding." To elucidate the mechanism of this locomotion, we performed a series of experiments involving behavioral analyses and microscopic observations. These experiments were designed (1) to measure the speed of this locomotion; (2) to determine whether the mucus secreted from the foot of Lymnaea repels water, thereby allowing the snail to exploit the surface tension of the water for upside-down gliding; and (3) to observe the beating of foot cilia in this behavior. The beating of these cilia is thought to be the primary driving force for upside-down gliding. Our results demonstrate that upside-down gliding is an efficient active process involving the secretion of mucus that floats up to the water surface to serve as a substrate upon which cilia beat to cause locomotion at the underside of the water surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-279
Number of pages8
JournalBiological Bulletin
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Dec
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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