Marine Biology

, Volume 103, Issue 3, pp 349–358 | Cite as

Planktotrophic larval development is associated with a restricted geographic range in Lasaea, a genus of brooding, hermaphroditic bivalves

  • D. Ó Foighil


Members of the intertidal, near-cosmopolitan mollusc genus Lasaea brood their young either to a planktotrophic veliger or crawl-away juvenile stage of development. Developmental mode can be reliably inferred from brood masses and from prodissoconch structure. I have conducted a global developmental survey of this genus based mainly on examination of hundreds of museum lots. With one exception, Lasaea species with a planktotrophic larval development were restricted to the western Pacific. Congeners that lack planktotrophic larvae were found on all continents apart from Antarctica, and also on a large number of oceanic islands. These results indicate that (1) Lasaea “species” releasing crawl-away juveniles have a markedly greater collective geographic range than congeners with planktotrophic larvae; (2) pelagic larvae are not necessary for long-distance dispersal in this genus; (3) rafting has played a key role in the evolutionary success of the genus Lasaea; (4) cross-fertilizing Lasaea species with feeding larvae are less successful in utilizing chance rafting events to colonize new areas than are congeners lacking these traits.


Bivalve Larval Development Geographic Range Evolutionary Success Juvenile Stage 
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© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Ó Foighil
    • 1
  1. 1.Bamfield Marine StationBamfieldCanada

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