, Volume 80, Issue 3, pp 315-321

Study of the life history of Capitella capitata (Polychaeta: Capitellidae) in Amakusa, South Japan including a comparison with other geographical regions

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Abstract

The life history of Capitella capitata (Fabricius), occurring in Amakusa, South Japan, was studied in detail through field investigations and laboratory experiments. The important life-history characteristics of this species in the present study area are described and compared with those reported in previous studies from various geographic regions. Though some life-history characteristics (extended breeding season throughout almost the whole year, parental brooding habit, and early maturation) are common to all localities, the reproductive mode, larval developmental pattern and morphology are very distinct among the worms from various localities. C. capitata showing these considerable geographical variations should not be treated as a single species. It is suggested that C. capitata, originally defined on the basis of morphological features of adult worms, needs to be subdivided into several species, subspecies, or biological races.

Communicated by M. Anraku, Hiroshima