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Free Content Development of the Adhesive Organ in Spadella Schizoptera (Chaetognatha) with Comments on Growth and Pigmentanon

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The development of larvae of Spadella schizoptera, hatched in the laboratory, was followed, with particular attention placed on the adhesive organ. Egg diameter averaged 0.25 mm, and newly hatched larvae were 0.83 mm, total length. Larvae attached to the substrate by means of cephalic papillae until their fifth day, at which time the posterior adhesive organ had developed at least one full digitation on each side and the larvae used these to assume the adult position. By the fifth day they also became functional predators, attacking copepod nauplii that came near.

Little is known of the biology of this species. It appears, however, that larvae of subtropical S. schizoptera reach the same functional state in their fifth day that those of temperate S. cephaloptera do in their 15th.

The development of the adhesive organ was found to be quite variable. Its shape, often used in identification of the species, cannot presently be relied upon to distinguish the species from S. nana in immature specimens.

Photographs of live specimens are presented to illustrate a common and an unusual pigmentation pattern.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1976

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