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Free Content Larval Development of Sabellaria Floridensis from Florida and Phragmatopoma Californica from Southern California (Polychaeta : Sabellariidae), with a Key to the Sabellariid Larvae of Florida and a Review of Development in the Family

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A laboratory study was conducted on the larval development, metamorphosis, and settlement behavior of Sabellaria floridensis from Florida, with additional observations on the development of Phragmatopoma californica from California. Metamorphosis of S. floridensis larvae occurred 18 to 27 days from fertilization at 21-23°C with many larvae metamorphosing in the absence of sand grains or other substrate. Metamorphosis was followed by a crawling or exploratory period ranging from several hours to several days before larvae constructed tubes and began a sedentary existence. The significance of this unusual behavior is discussed and compared to that of other sabellariids. A summary of systematically-useful larval characters for the identification of sabellariid larvae, a key to the sabellariid larvae of Florida and a comparison of larval development times within the family are presented.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1977

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