Reproduction, Growth and Trophic Interactions of Doriopsilla Pharpa Marcus in South Carolina
The dorid nudibranch Doriopsilla pharpa Marcus has been observed from Massachusetts to Florida. Specimens from creeks and tide pools were collected with their prey, the sulfur burrowing sponge, Cliona celata, in North Inlet Estuary, South Carolina. The nudibranch had an annual life cycle with oviposition from late March to early June. The smallest individuals observed copulating (= 10 mm in length) were 4–5 mm shorter than the smallest specimens observed ovipositing. The yellow eggs (203 ± 3 μm diameter) were deposited in masses of about 300 eggs. Type I shells were formed by the embryos and dropped at hatching. The capsular metamorphic development required 14–16 days at 23°C and the yolk supply sustained the juveniles about one week after hatching. D. pharpa from tide pools were significantly smaller than individuals from creeks, although summer and fall growth rates in the two populations were similar. The percentage of nudibranchs in obvious association with C. celata changed during the year, probably due to degradation of the sponge ventilation papillae caused by some factor other than changes in predatory behavior of D. pharpa.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1981-01-01
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