Rudman, W.B., 2001 (June 11) Larval development. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/larvgen
July 19, 2006
From: Leonardo Sigales
I'm and undergraduate student in Biology. At this time I'm finishing my Thesis on C. eburneum morphometrics in the Caribbean. I'm looking for articles about dispersion times and distances traveled by veliger larvae. This is really important to sustain the assumptions that I'm working with about a meta-population. So far I haven't find anything about veliger swimming times or dispersion in gastropods. Can anyone recommend me some articles about it?
Thanks a lot
email@example.comSigales, L.A., 2006 (Jul 19) Veliger larvae life history. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/17172
I can only guess you mean Cerithium eburneum.I am afraid that as much as I would like to help I have too many queries on opisthobranchs, so there is no way I can take on other gastropods as well. Hopefully someone can give you some guidance. There is a large literature on gastropod and bivalve larvae.
If anyone has a summary that I could add to the Forum, or a reading list, I would be very grateful.
May 20, 2006
From: Skip Pierce
Your comment [#16513] about Doriopsilla with similar morphologies, but different developmental strategies being different species reminded me of an ancient paper (West, Harrigan & Pierce, 1984) about the hybridization of two populations of a marine opisthobranch with different developmental patterns. Basically, two populations of Elysia chlorotica, separated geographically by Cape Cod (although connected by the Cape Cod Canal), with identical adult morphology but very different developmental patterns and egg morphologies - but will interbreed, so are clearly the same species. Unfortunately no molecular data. I, of course, know nothing about Doriopsilla, but was struck by the analogy.
West, H. H., Harrigan, J., & Pierce, S. K. (1984) Hybridization of two populations of a marine opisthobranch with different developmental patterns. The Veliger, 26: 199-206.
firstname.lastname@example.orgPierce, S.K., 2006 (May 20) Doriopsilla and developmental strategies. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/16633
Yes nothing is ever simple. There are a scattering of opisthobranchs which apparently exhibit poecilogony [one species with more than one development type] including sacoglossans, nudibranchs and cephalaspideans. There are some examples where the differences are small, and other where the differences are more significant with some eggs producing planktotrophic larvae and others producing small crawling slugs. It is interesting that in your example, the two populations were physically apart - if not far, because in most other cases the two development types seem to be in mixed [sympatric] populations. Obviously a lot more work needs to be done. In the case of the two Doriopsilla species the populations are in different oceans so I guess it is safer to think of them as separate - if closely related - species.
June 17, 2001
From: Alisse Cassell
Dear Dr. Rudman,
I just wanted to let you know that your Sea Slug Forum and all of your answers are so helpful to me. I am doing a Nudibranch report in science (I'm in 8th grade, Seattle) and your entire sites were, by far, the most helpful! You seem like a very cool person. Not just incredibly knowledgable on marine biology, but very patient and nice. After reseaching sea slugs, I am planning on learning how to scuba dive. And even before seeing your site, I knew that I wanted to go into the sciences as an occupation. In the ocean, there is so much that is undiscovered. Hopefully mankind can study it and fulfill their own needs without disturbing and causing destruction.
Thanks so much. You rock :)
email@example.comCassell, A., 2001 (Jun 17) Thank you soooo much!!. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/4589
June 12, 2001
When Nudibranchs are hatched from their egg, are they just smaller versions of their parents, or do they go through any larval/zooplankton stages?
thank you, this site is the best :)
firstname.lastname@example.orgAlisse, 2001 (Jun 12) When Nudibranchs hatch, are they just smaller versions?. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/4558
A good question. I haven't had time to prepare a page on this topic but there is quite a bit of information elsewhere on the Forum on the topic. Molluscs (clams, snails, slugs, squid etc) basically develop from an egg to a free-swimmimg shelled larval stage, which we call a veliger larva. As with all living things, there are some variations to that plan and Nudibranchs (and other opisthobranch sea slugs) show quite a bit of variation in how they develop from an egg to a crawling slug. There are three main development types and we can make a bit of a guess at what type a particular species will have by looking at the size of the egg.
As a general rule each species has its own 'typical' egg diameter - very small eggs almost certainly leading to planktotrophic veliger larvae which spend a long time feeding and growing in the plankton. At the other extreme very large eggs usually indicate that the larva is going to develop in the egg capsule, without a free-swimming veliger larva stage, to hatch out as a miniature crawling slug. We call this direct development. Between these two extremes are eggs which develop into lecithotrophic larvae (free-swimming non-feeding larvae) which spend a very short time, sometimes only a few minutes, swimming around before settling to the bottom and metamorphosing into a crawling slug. There are exceptions to this rule but it gives us an indication about the possible development for any species we are interested in.
As to egg size ranges, an English scientist, Tom Thompson, produced a range of egg diameters based on nudibranchs of known development types which we can use to get an idea about the type of larvae a species will have.
• Planktotrophic: 40-170 microns
• Lecithotrophic: 110-250 microns
• Direct development: 205-400 microns
[1mm = 1000 microns]
There are many places in the Forum where you will find photos and information on this topic:
• Larval Development of Aplysia oculifera
• Have a look at the Flabellina amabilis settlement page showing a planktotrophic larvae settling out of the plankton and turning into a slug.
• Have a look at this page showing differences between the larvae of two species.
• Have a look at the messages on the Hypselodoris zebra page for great photos of a lecithotrophic larvae settling and turning into a slug.
I haven't at present got any photos of a direct developing larva but hopefully the ones I've listed above will keep you going. If you are not sure how to use the Forum just click on anything underlined, or use the buttons at the top and bottm of each page, and you will be moved to another page