Under laboratory conditions, the development of larvae of the sand dollar Scaphechinus mirabilis (Agassiz) took 28.5–29 days from fertilization to settling and the end of metamorphosis at a temperature 20°C and salinity 32.2–32.6‰ The cleavage divisions were completed in 12 hours after fertilization (AF) by the release of free swimming ciliary blastula from the egg membrane. The larvae attained pluteus I stage with one pair of arms at an age of 40 hours. In 4.5–5 days the pluteus II stage with three pairs of arms, and in 9 days the pluteus III stage with four pairs of arms were formed. On the 20–21st day AF the larvae developed a vestibule, in which the adult skeleton rudiments, spicules, plates and pedicellariae were formed on the 26–27th day AF. The size of the larvae at an age of 22.5 days was 1064.3 ± 44.7 μm. The settling of larvae was recorded on the 28–29th day of development. Most of the larvae completed their metamorphosis in 4.5–5 hours after settling.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 25, 2009
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