, Volume 50, Supplement 1, pp 5-14

First online:

Parental care in terrestrial gastropods

  • B. BaurAffiliated withInstitute of Zoology, University of Basel

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Parental care in terrestrial gastropods includes the of oviposition sites, production of large, heavily-yolked eggs supplied with calcium carbonate, provisioning of hatchings with eggs in specis with facultative sibling cannibalism, egg retention, and ovoviviparity. Evidence for true viviparity is scarce in terrestrial gastropods, as it is for postlaying care of eggs, though external egg carrying on the shell occurs in a few species. Care of young has not been observed in any terrestrial gastropod species. Provisioning of eggs with nutrients and calcium carbonate might be the most common form of parental investment. Ovoviviparity allows terrestrial gastropods to persist in habitats otherwise unsuitable for oviparous species (e.g. exposed rock walls). An interspecific comparison demonstrates that egg-retaining and ovoviviparous species produce smaller clutches than oviparous species and suggests a cost of parental care.

Key words

parental investment juvenile survival evolution gastropods molluscs ovoviviparity viviparity