The Planktonic Larvae of Polydora Websteri Hartman (Annelida, Polychaeta) and their Settling on Oysters
Abstract:Larvae that emerged spontaneously from tubes of the “mudworm” Polydora websteri Hartman at 24°C had three setiferous segments like the newly-emerged larvae of P. ciliata (Johnston), but differed from the latter in ciliation, pigmentation, and number of setae. Planktonic Polydora larvae, presumed to be P. websteri, were found in Louisiana waters throughout the year. The largest larvae in plankton and the smallest worms on oysters had seventeen segments; this is assumed to be the stage at which settling occurs. Young P. websteri settle on the outside surfaces of oysters, or on the margins of the shells, and begin cutting grooves, which later become pits containing horseshoe-shaped burrows encased in mucus-cemented mud and continued on the outside by a pair of mud tubes projecting from the surface of the shell.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 1958
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