Under laboratory conditions the development of the starfish Asterias amurensis Lütken from Vostok Bay (Sea of Japan) was studied at 14 and 17°C. At 14°C and a salinity of 31.6–32.6‰, ciliated coeloblastulae hatched from egg envelopes 19 h after fertilization. At this temperature the development proceeded slowly and stopped at the stage of bipinnaria. At 17°C and normal salinity of seawater, the development of A. amurensis was successful. The swimming blastula appeared in 14 h. It took 30.5 h for the embryos to reach the gastrula stage. The larvae began swimming in a horizontal position with the apical tip ahead. The dipleurula appeared at 60 h. These larvae began feeding. At 71 h after the beginning of development, the early bipinnaria has developed. In the larva, the edged ciliated band, the preoral plate, and the anal plate were already formed. At the age of 4.2 days, the larvae reached the stage of bipinnaria and the brachiolaria stage developed by 26–28 days after fertilization. The larvae had three identical brachiolar arms with attachment papillae on their tips and an attachment disk. In 37–44 days (at 17°C) the pelagic phase of A. amurensis development was completed by the attachment of larvae to the bottom plates and termination of metamorphosis. Most likely, the specificity to a substrate is not expressed in the brachiolaria of A. amurensis. They can settle on almost any hard substrate which is coated with a bacterial film. The newly settled juvenile starfish had five well-developed arms and moved using their ambulacral podia.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 30, 2005
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