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Free Content Reproduction and Reproductive Periodicities of South Floridian Littorinidae (Gastropoda: Prosobranchia)

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The planktonic egg capsules of several Floridian littorinids and the nurse-cells to which functional sperm attach during storage and copulatory transfer are illustrated. The position of sperm attachment to the nurse-cell may be of taxonomic importance.

Some individuals of Littorina lineata, L. lineolata, Nodilittorina tuberculata, and probably L. angulifera, had ripe eggs or sperm in every month of the year. The majority of animals of these species, however, and of L. ziczac, Tectarius muricatus, and Echininus nodulosus, were spent between December and April.

Spawning was related to seasonal critical temperatures, height of the species on the shore, and to tidal wetting. Spawning was periodic, approximately lunar, or semilunar, and occurred whenever actual tidal levels exceeded mean high-water spring-tide levels (MHWS) during the spawning season. A diurnal rhythm was seen, even in the laboratory, as egg capsules were released only at the time of high tide in the field.

Individual females released from 12,000 to 44,000 egg capsules in a season, depending on the species.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 1971

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