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Egg laying and embryonic-larval development in the snail Thais (Stramonita) chocolata (Duclos, 1832) with observations on its evolutionary relationships within the Muricidae
Soledad Romero, M.; Gallardo, C.S.; Bellolio, G. (2004). Egg laying and embryonic-larval development in the snail Thais (Stramonita) chocolata (Duclos, 1832) with observations on its evolutionary relationships within the Muricidae. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 145(4): 681-692. http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-004-1368-9
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Soledad Romero, M.
  • Gallardo, C.S.
  • Bellolio, G.

Abstract
    Oviposition and embryonic-larval development are described for the muricacean snail Thais (Stramonita) chocolata from the Southeast Pacific coast. As with numerous other muricacean snails, this species engages in communal egg laying, with females depositing egg capsules in clusters on subtidal rocks. Each cluster of capsules contains 100–150 pedunculate, ampulliform egg capsules, with each capsule containing an average of 2,600 small (130 µm) eggs. Intracapsular development was followed using light and scanning electron microscopy to describe the successive embryonic stages of the species. Free-swimming veliger larvae of about 225 µm length were released from capsules after 49 days incubation at 13.6°C. The planktotrophic larvae were cultured in seawater aquaria by feeding with pure cultures of phytoplankton, recording growth and form of the larvae. Larvae reached competence after 4 months at 22°C, at 1,450–1,740 µm in size, and a few larvae were observed through metamorphosis and early definitive growth. The embryonic-larval development of T. chocolata coincides with the general characteristics of the ontogeny observed in other Thais species as well as of other genera of the Rapaninae such as Concholepas. This lent support to grouping these genera into a single clade. The lack of knowledge of the development of free larvae of Thais spp. means that we do not know whether these similarities also include an extensive larval phase as generally characteristic of other members of the clade. The mode of development may be useful in characterizing some clades of this family. Thus for example, the transference of some Thais to the genus Nucella (Subfamily Ocenebrinae) is supported by differences in the mode of embryonic development, which differentiates these subfamilies. Paleobiological data reported for Neogastropoda allow postulation of primitiveness in planktotrophic larval development compared to more recent developmental strategies such as direct development of different types, which characterize various clades of this family.

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