Marine Biology

, Volume 80, Issue 2, pp 189–195 | Cite as

Giant larvae: Prolonged planktonic larval phase in the asteroidLuidia sarsi

  • P. A. Domanski


The bipinnaria larva of the shelf-dwelling asteroidLuidia sarsi Duben and Koren, 1845, can attain (exceptionally) a length of 35 mm; metamorphosis to the adult benthic phase usually occurs well before this size is reached. A seastar rudiment develops at the oral end of the bipinnaria and, under normal circumstances, it detaches itself from its larval body before reaching a diameter of 5 mm. Midwater trawl samples taken from the surface to 1650 m in the Porcupine Seabight during 1978 and 1979, however, includedL. sarsi larvae with post-larval rudiments of 15 mm diameter and greater. It is shown that the bipinnariae and attached post-larvae both continued to grow until a point was reached when it appeared that the young sea-star could no longer be sustained by the bipinnaria. There is evidence that the largest post-larvae had absorbed the bipinnaria tissue and this, it is concluded, is the final stage before enforced settlement. From the estimated growth rate it is likely that many specimens had been in the plankton for >1 yr, giving this species a capability for long-distance dispersal.


Growth Rate Final Stage Normal Circumstance Larval Body Larval Phase 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Baker, A. de C., M. R. Clarke and M. J. Harris: The NIO combination net (RMT 1+8) and further developments of rectangular mid-water trawls. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K.53, 167–184 (1973)Google Scholar
  2. Bouchet, P. and A. Warén: Planktotrophic larval development in deep water gastropods. Sarsia64, 37–87 (1979)Google Scholar
  3. Bury, H.: The metamorphosis of echinoderms. Q. Jl microsc. Sci.38, 45–135 (1895)Google Scholar
  4. Chia, F. and J. G. Spaulding: Development and juvenile growth of the sea anemone,Tealia crassicornis. Biol. Bull. mar. biol. Lab., Woods Hole114, 206–218 (1972)Google Scholar
  5. Clark, A. M.: Notes on Atlantic Asteroidea. 2. Luidiidae. Bull. Br. Mus. nat. Hist. (D: Zool.)42, 157–184 (1982)Google Scholar
  6. Delap, M. and C. Delap: Notes on the plankton of Valencia Harbour 1902–1905. Rep. Sea inld Fish. Ire. (Part II: Scientific Investigations) 141–159 (1907)Google Scholar
  7. Fell, H. B.: The phylogeny of sea-stars. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. (Ser. B)246, 381–485 (1963)Google Scholar
  8. Ferguson, J. C.: Feeding, digestion, and nutrition in Echinodermata.In: Chemical zoology, Vol. 3. pp 71–100. Ed. by M. Florkin and B. T. Scheer. New York: Academic Press 1969Google Scholar
  9. Hadfield, M. G.: Metamorphosis in marine molluscan larvae: an analysis of stimulus and response.In: Settlement and metamorphosis of marine invertebrate larvae, pp 165–175. Ed. by F. S. Chia and M. E. Rice. Amsterdam: Elsevier, North Holland 1978Google Scholar
  10. Hargreaves, P. M.: The distribution of Decapoda (Crustacea) in the open ocean and near bottom over an adjacent slope in the northern Northeastern Atlantic Ocean during Autumn 1979. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. (In press)Google Scholar
  11. Kempf, S. C.: Long lived larvae of the gastropodAplysia juliana: do they disperse and metamorphose or just slowly fade away? Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser.6, 61–65 (1981)Google Scholar
  12. Komatsu, M., C. Oguro and Y. T. Kano: Development of the sea-starLuidia quinaria von Martens.In: Proceedings of the International Echinoderms Conference, Tampa Bay, pp 497–503. Ed. by J. M. Lawrence. Rotterdam: A. A. Balkema 1982Google Scholar
  13. Koren, J. et D. C. Danielssen: Observations sur laBipinnaria asterigera. Annls Sci. nat.7, p. 347 (1847)Google Scholar
  14. Manahan, D. T. and D. J. Crisp: The role of dissolved organic material in the nutrition of pelagic larvae: amino acid uptake by bivalve veligers. Am. Zool.22, 635–646 (1982)Google Scholar
  15. Meek, A.:Bipinnaria asterigera (Echinodermata), from the North-umberland plankton. Proc. zool. Soc. Lond.Pt I, 157–171 (1927)Google Scholar
  16. Mortensen, Th.: Echinodermlarven. Nord. Plankt.1, 1–30 (1901)Google Scholar
  17. Mortensen, Th.: On the development of some British echinoderms. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K.10, 1–18 (1913)Google Scholar
  18. Oguro, C., Komatsu, M. and Y. T. Kano: Development and metamorphosis of the sea star,Astropecten scoparius Valenciennes. Biol. Bull. mar. biol. Lab., Woods Hole151, 560–573 (1976)Google Scholar
  19. Pechenik, J.: Growth and energy balance during the larval lives of three prosobranch gastropods. J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol.44, 1–28 (1980)Google Scholar
  20. Péquignat, C. E.: Biologie desEchinocardium cordatum (Pennant) de la Baie de Seine: nouvelles recherches sur la digestion et l'absorption cutanées chez les échinides et les stellerides. Forma Functio2, 121–168 (1970)Google Scholar
  21. Phillips, B. F., P. A. Brown, D. W. Rimmer and D. D. Reid: Distribution and dispersal of the phyllosoma larva of the Western rock lobsterPalinurus cygnus in the South-Eastern Indian Ocean. Aust. J. mar. Freshwat. Res.30, 773–782 (1979)Google Scholar
  22. Roe, H. S. J. and D. M. Shale: A new multiple rectangular midwater trawl (RMT 1+8 M) and some modifications to the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences' RMT 1+8. Mar. Biol.50, 283–288 (1979)Google Scholar
  23. Scheltema, R. S.: Evidence for trans-Atlantic transport of gastropod larvae belonging to the genusCymatium. Deep-Sea Res.13, 83–95 (1966)Google Scholar
  24. Strathman, R.: Length of pelagic period in echinoderms with feeding larvae from the Northeast Pacific. J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol.34, 23–27 (1978)Google Scholar
  25. Swallow, J. C., W. J. Gould and P. M. Saunders: Evidence for a poleward eastern boundary current in the North Atlantic Ocean. Int. Counc. Explor. Sea Comm. Meet. (Hydrography Comm.)C 32, 11 pp+1 table+5 figs (1977). (Unpublished manuscript)Google Scholar
  26. Tattersall, W. M. and E. M. Sheppard: Observations on the bipinnaria of the asteroid genusLuidia.In: James Johnstone Memorial Volume, pp 35–61, Ed. by R. J. Daniel. Liverpool: University of Liverpool Press 1934Google Scholar
  27. Thorson, G.: Length of pelagic larval life in marine bottom invertebrates as related to larval transport by ocean currents.In: Oceanography, pp 455–474. Ed. by M. Sears. Washington, D.C.: American Association for the Advancement of Science 1961. (Publ. No. 67)Google Scholar
  28. Wilson, D. P.: Some observations on bipinnariae and juveniles of the starfish genusLuidia. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K.58, 467–478 (1978)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. A. Domanski
    • 1
  1. 1.Natural Environment Research CouncilInstitute of Oceanographic SciencesGodalmingEngland

Personalised recommendations