Gametogenesis and spawning periodicity in the fan worm Sabellastarte spectabilis (Polychaeta: Sabellidae)
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- Bybee, D.R., Bailey-Brock, J.H. & Tamaru, C.S. Mar Biol (2007) 151: 639. doi:10.1007/s00227-006-0504-0
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The sabellid polychaete Sabellastarte spectabilis (Grube 1878) was collected at approximately monthly intervals from January 2002 to December 2003 from intertidal and subtidal reefs near the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology in Kane’ohe Bay, Hawaii, USA (21°N, 157°W). Gametogenesis and spawning periodicity were investigated using histological techniques and induction of spawning trials. Worms were characterized into four discrete reproductive stages based on histological evidence: (1) No evidence of reproductive activity in the coelom (sex cannot be determined), (2) Only coelomocytes present in the coelom (sex cannot be determined), (3) Some gametes present in the coelom (sex can be determined) and (4) Coelom densely packed with gametes (sex can be determined). The small hermaphroditic portion of the population was not used in this study. Stage 4 worms were present over an extended period of time (females, March–December and males, March–November) indicating a potentially broad reproductive season. No correlation between day length and maturation stages in S. spectabilis was detected. However, the statistical model Y = ([394.26 × X] − [7.793 × X2]) − 4960.781 where Y the % frequency of Stage 4 worms and X the mean monthly water temperature explained 44% of the variation between water temperature and % frequency of Stage 4 worms. Maturation appeared to coincide with water temperatures of 24–25°C (March–September) after which there is a reduction in the % frequency of stage 4 individuals. Induction of spawning trials conducted between May and January showed the month of October with a significantly higher percent success than any other month investigated. According to all available information (e.g., natural spawning in water tables, histological data, induction of spawning trials, correlation of maturation stages with observed changes in average monthly water temperature.), there is an apparent peak in reproductive activity (spawning) within a broad maturational season, which may be influenced by water temperature.