Comparative Observations on Reproductive Biology of Four Species of Perkinsiana (Polychaeta: Sabellidae: Sabellinae)
Abstract:Observations on reproductive biology of four species of Perkinsiana (Polychaeta: Sabellidae) are reported and examined at the light of both phylogenetic and ecological factors. Perkinsiana littoralis and P. borsibrunoi, collected sympatrically on the shelf (100–800 m depth) of the Eastern Weddell Sea, Antarctica, are gonochoric, and females show oocytes at different stages of maturation; P. littoralis contains a higher number of larger eggs (150–200 μm) than P. borsibrunoi (100–150 μm). Males of P. littoralis show a mature sperm with a typical ect-aquasperm morphology; whereas mature males of P. borsibrunoi were not found, suggesting a different timing of reproduction between these two sympatric species. Perkinsiana antarctica, collected in the intertidal and shallow subtidal zones of the Straits of Magellan, is a simultaneous hermaphrodite, incubating its embryos and larvae within the branchial crown. Its mature spermatozoa show an oval nucleus and a long and pointed acrosome. Finally, in Perkinsiana milae, collected in the Ross Sea, Antarctica (75–200 m depth), gametes were never found. In this last species some large individuals with an evident body constriction near the pygidium, as well as many small individuals characterized by a few adult segments and small, regenerating branchial crown and pygidium were observed. These findings may indicate the occurrence of asexual reproduction by scissiparity. Present observations demonstrate the high variability in reproductive characters within the species assigned to Perkinsiana. Incubation in P. antarctica, which seems not to be constrained by size, and possible asexual reproduction in P. milae, are discussed in relation with ecological factors. Comparison with data on reproductive biology of other species assigned to Perkinsiana allowed the identification of possible monophyletic groups.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: July 1, 2000
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