TitleAspects of the larval biology of the sea anemones Anthopleura elegantissima and A-artemisia
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsWeis, VM, Verde, EA, Pribyl, A, Schwarz, JA
JournalInvertebrate Biology
Type of ArticleJournal Article

We investigated several aspects of the larval biology of the anemone Anthopleura elegantissima, which harbors algal syrnbionts from two different taxa, and the non-symbiotic A. artemisia. From a 7-year study, we report variable spawning and fertilization success of A. elegantissimo in the laboratory. We examined the dynamics of symbiosis onset in larvae of A. elegontissima. Zoochlorellae, freshly isolated from an adult host, were taken up and retained during the larval feeding process, as has been described previously for zooxanthellae. In addition, larvae infected with zooxanthellae remained more highly infected in high-light conditions, compared to larvae with zoochlorellae, which remained more highly infected in low-light conditions. These results parallel the differential distribution of the algal types observed in adult anemones in the field and their differential tolerances to light and temperature. We report on numerous failed attempts to induce settlement and metamorphosis of larvae of A. elegantissima, using a variety of substrates and chemical inducers. We also describe a novel change in morphology of some older planulae, in which large bulges. resembling tentacles, develop around the mouth. Finally, we provide the first description of planulae of A. artemisia and report on attempts to infect this non-symbiotic species with zooxanthellae and zoochlorellae.

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