BIOTIC Species Information for Cirratulus cirratus
Click here to view the MarLIN Key Information Review for Cirratulus cirratus
Researched byLizzie Tyler Data supplied byUniversity of Sheffield
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeGonochoristic
Developmental mechanismLecithotrophic
Reproductive SeasonAsynchronous reproduction Reproductive LocationSediment surface
Reproductive frequencyBiannual episodic Regeneration potential No
Life span6-10 years Age at reproductive maturity1-2 years
Generation time1-2 years Fecundity
Egg/propagule size150 µm diameter Fertilization typeInsufficient information
Larvae/Juveniles
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potentialInsufficient information Larval settlement periodInsufficient information
Duration of larval stage   
Reproduction Preferences Additional InformationReproduction in Cirratulus cirratus is asynchronous i.e. it is not entrained to any of the seasons and members of the population are at different stages of reproductive development at any one time (Garwood, 1982; Gibbs, 1971). Oocytes are 150 µm in diameter and once fertilized are deposited in a jelly mass on the surface of rocks (Petersen, 1999). The eggs hatch as a ciliated post-trochophore after 6 days. The larvae are entirely benthic for the duration of their development, living off yolk for around 24 days after hatching and then commence adult style deposit feeding (Olive, 1970). Females can spawn 2-3 times in their lifetime and it takes 1-2 years after each spawning to mature a new clutch of oocytes (Olive, 1970). There are separate sexes, the males are white, females are lemon-yellow due to the colour of coelomic oocytes (Gibbs, 1971). Sex ratios vary and have been recorded as 1:1 (Olive, 1970) 1:1.7 and 1:2.8 (Gibbs, 1971).
Asexual reproduction by epitoky (clones growing from the posterior end of the worm) may occur in Cirratulus cirratus. However, the taxonomic status of Cirratulus is in constant review and epitokes may be formed by another species that has been erroneously identified as Cirratulus cirratus (Petersen, 1999).
Reproduction References Garwood, 1982, Olive, 1970, Gibbs, 1971, Petersen, 1999, George, 1968, George, 1971,
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