Reproductive modes

Harry A. ten Hove hove at
Mon Aug 30 17:13:03 EST 1999


I scanned my files for your request regarding reproductive types for the
only serpulid you list. >(Serpulidae) Ditrupa arietina: unknown

>I am trying to allocate polychaete species from the Canarian Archipelago to
>reproductive types, i.e. Direct Development (DD), Planktotrophy (PLK),
>Lecitotrophy (LEC), sometimes only Brooding (BR) being quoted.
>Out of the 81 species found in sixty three 0.01 m2 grabs, I have been able
>to assign a reproductive mode for 60 taxa, either by direct evidence or
>inferring from data on closely-related species. Nevertheless, a total of 21
>species I could not found a bibliographic quotation of their reproductive

The strange thing is that I have about 150 papers referring to D.arietina,
all indexed for various key-words among which reproduction, but none gives
data. The only reference I found is that of
Langerhans, P., 1880.- Die Würmfauna von Madeira.III. Z. wiss. Zool. 34:
87-143, pl.4-6.
and he only states that Ditrupa is dioecious (Geschlechte getrennt), its
sperm being colourless and eggs red.

In the 80-ies a Dutch student wrote a thesis (unpublished) on the
actuapaleontology of Ditrupa, based on large collections from the Canary
Islands and vicinity. Although he gave observations on living worms, there
is no reference to reproductive mode (and he was interested in that!). Some
of his data have been used (with permission) in
Hove, H.A. ten, & R.S. Smith, 1990.- A re-description of Ditrupa gracillima
Grube, 1878 (Polychaeta, Serpulidae) from the Indo-Pacific, with a
discussion of the genus. Rec. Aust. Mus. 42: 101-118, 62 figs.
 and in:
Hove, H.A. ten, & P. van den Hurk, 1993.- A review of Recent and fossil
serpulid "reefs"; actuopaleontology and the 'Upper Malm' serpulid
limestones in NW Germany. Geol. Mijnbouw 72: 23-67, 12 figs, 5 tabs.

The only thing one can do is make an educated (??) guess. DD and BR are
very unlikely. LEC does occur in serps, but according to a short study by
myself in 1967 (for my Masters, not published), in spirorbids and
"filogranids" only. Therefore I would assume that Ditrupa has
planktotrophic larvae.


dr. Harry A. ten Hove
Institute for Systematics and Ecology
Zoological Museum, University of Amsterdam
POB 94766, 1090 GT AMSTERDAM

TEL. 3120 5256906
FAX. 3120 5255402

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