BIOTIC Species Information for Brissopsis lyrifera
Click here to view the MarLIN Key Information Review for Brissopsis lyrifera
Researched byLizzie Tyler Data supplied byUniversity of Sheffield
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeGonochoristic
Developmental mechanismPlanktotrophic
Reproductive SeasonSummer to Autumn Reproductive LocationWater column
Reproductive frequencySemelparous Regeneration potential No
Life span3-5 years Age at reproductive maturity3-5 years
Generation time3-5 years Fecundity1000000
Egg/propagule size Fertilization typeExternal
Larvae/Juveniles
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potential>10km Larval settlement periodInsufficient information
Duration of larval stage   
Reproduction Preferences Additional InformationReproduction and generation time
Echinoids have separate sexes. Fertilization is external and the majority have a free swimming pelagic larva (Fish & Fish, 1996).
From observations made along the Northumbrian coast, Buchanan (1967), described Brissopsis lyrifera as a highly productive, short lived but fast growing species. The population he studied showed clear evidence of successful and consecutive annual recruitment. Specimens became sexually mature when 'test' length was >60 mm, they spawned in the summer towards the end of their 4th year and died shortly afterwards. No individuals were observed to survive to breed for a second time.
Larval settling time
Adults of Brissopsis lyrifera are burrowers, so the larval phase is the main dispersive mechanism of the urchin. Echinoderm larvae undergo a complicated and protracted metamorphosis. For instance, the larvae of other echinoderms, Echinocardium cordatum and Echinus esculentus remain in the plankton for 40 and 46-60 days respectively (Kashenko, 1994; MacBride, 1914). Thus the larvae of Brissopsis lyrifera probably remain in the plankton for a sufficient length of time to be swept away from the location of spawning to new areas, or to restock existing areas (Nichols, 1969).
Reproduction References Fish & Fish, 1996, Ferrand et al., 1988, Buchanan, 1967, Nichols, 1969, Brattström, 1946, Vasseur & Carlsen, 1949, Kashenko, 1994, MacBride, 1914, Eckert, 2003,
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