The large and well studied gastropod genus Conus is an appropriate taxon in which to examine the relationship between larval biology and postlarval ecology. Among Indo-Pacific species of Conus, developmental mode ranges from large eggs and nonpelagic larvae to small eggs
and long-term planktotrophy. When the life history of Conus pennaceus (large eggs) is compared with those of C. quercinus,C. abbreviatus and C. flavidus (all with small eggs), contrasting patterns emerge which are not strictly in accordance with the predictions
of r- and K-selection theory. Conus pennaceus is characterized by high parental care costs, high reproductive effort, low fecundity, low iteroparity and early reproduction. The three species with small eggs show the opposite life history traits. Developmental mode (i.e., egg size) may
affect life history patterns in several ways. I emphasize the importance of the juvenile/adult mortality ratio and the influence of egg size on levels of reproductive effort and the costs of parental care.
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