[Histonet] Land snail dissection.

Smith, Allen asmith <@t> mail.barry.edu
Wed Sep 8 11:23:01 CDT 2004

Many centuries ago, I forced a snail out of its shell by shredding a pack of
cigarettes into a pint of water and dropping the snail into it.
Borradaile's THE INVERTEBRATA has instructions for dissecting the European
garden snail Helix pomatia (pp. 604-610 in the 4th edition).  The book is
out of print, but available used.

Allen A. Smith, Ph.D.
Professor of Anatomy
Barry University
School of Graduate Medical Sciences
            Podiatric Medicine and Surgery
Miami Shores, Florida

-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
[mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Gayle Callis
Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 2004 10:56 AM
To: andromeda_tm; Histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: [Histonet] Land snail dissection.

Becaue of the hard calcified shell, dissection was still difficult.  The 
snail didn't always relax all the way out of the shell.  I think we also 
used another way to relax snail, but do not recall what was used (many 
years ago!), as long as your method works, use it.

Since we could never get a snail totally out of shell (they don't give it 
up easily!), we fixed snails whole, then decalcified them with shells 
intact, and processed them into paraffin.  There is a "tooth" of some sort, 
I do not recall what my snail experts called it, but it can create problems 
during sectioning.  It was very hard and caused section damage.  There is 
always a possiblity that after you decalcify the shell, you can remove it 
very carefully to reach soft body parts.  We had wonderful sections with 
thin shell intact - a total histological preparation.

We decalcified in 10 to 15% formic acid after the snail was totally fixed.

   At 04:48 AM 9/8/2004, you wrote:
>Torino 08 September 2004
>Hi all,
>I am an amateur naturalist.
>I like to study the histology of animal tissues by an optical microscope 
>in transmitted light.
>I am interested to land (terrestrial) snails.
>I know for relaxing the snail to use a solution of 50mM of MgCl2 by an 
>injection (2 ml.) into the foot.
>Could someone give me some detailed information how to proceed to the 
>snail dissection?
>Thank you.
>With my Best Regards,

Gayle Callis
Research Histopathology Supervisor
Veterinary Molecular Biology
Montana State University - Bozeman
PO Box 173610
Bozeman MT 59717-3610
406 994-6367 (lab with voice mail)
406 994-4303 (FAX)

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