The growth and spawning of Lacuna pallidula and L. vincta were measured in the laboratory over 7 months. In both cases, there were significant differences between the mean number of eggs per batch or weight of egg batches from females of the same species and also between rates of spawning by females of the same species. The reproductive effort of L. vincta, estimated by the ratio total spawn weight: body weight and by the time taken to exceed body weight in cumulative spawn, is approximately twice that of L. pallidula. L. vincta has a long-lived planktotrophic larva, while L. pallidula has direct, lecithotrophic development, and therefore in this instance planktotrophic development seems to be more expensive to the parent than lecithotrophic development. Published work on two Pacific seastars leads to the opposite conclusion, and it is suggested that the paradox can be resolved in terms of r-K-selection theory. In both cases, the r-selected species has a higher reproductive effort, notwithstanding that the snail is planktotrophic and the seastar lecithotrophic in development.