Free Content

Occurrence of Planktonic Lancelets from Louisiana's Continental Shelf, with a Review of Pelagic Branchiostoma (Order Amphioxi)

Authors: Boschung, Herbert T.; Shaw, Richard F.

Source: Bulletin of Marine Science, Volume 43, Number 2, September 1988 , pp. 229-240(12)

Publisher: University of Miami - Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

Buy & download fulltext article:

Free content The full text is free.

View now:
PDF 758.8kb 


Three forms of lancelets of the genus Branchiostoma (Family Branchiostomatidae) were collected on the continental shelf of western Louisiana. They were identified as larval and adult Branchiostoma longirostrum and adult Branchiostoma species. These findings represent the first collection of pelagic adults and larvae of B. longirostrum, the first large-scale collection of pelagic adults of the genus Branchiostoma in the Western Atlantic, and the first records of sexually immature adult specimens of a Branchiostoma species which is not unequivocally a described species. A total of 453 larval and metamorphosed (but sexually immature) adults were collected on five cruises during December 1981 to April 1982. The 24 larval specimens collected ranged from 6.2–8.0 mm TL. These larvae were “giant” in that they exceeded 5 mm TL. Neighboring B. floridae undergo metamorphosis at about 2–5 mm TL. Collectively lancelet density peaked in January with a mean density of 4.6 specimens/100 m3. Adult specimens were collected only at night while the larvae were taken equally during night or day. The Branchiostoma adults appeared to undergo diel vertical migration. We review literature and discuss research results on pelagic lancelets, a protracted spawning season, a prolonged larval stage, and diel vertical migration relative to various morphometric and ecological factors, and aspects of life history.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1988

More about this publication?
  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Terms & Conditions
  • ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
Related content



Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content

Text size:

A | A | A | A
Share this item with others: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. print icon Print this page