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Reproductive biology of the serpulid ficopomatus enigmaticus in the thames estuary southeast england uk

Reproductive biology of the serpulid ficopomatus enigmaticus in the thames estuary southeast england uk

Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 61(3): 805-815

Details of the gross cellular changes taking place in the gondal tissues and coelom of Ficopomatus during the annual reproductive cycle are presented. There is no true gonad in either sex; instead, germ cell precursors are produced by divisions of a germinal epithelium associated with the ring blood vessels in the intersegmental septa. Segments producing gametes do not all develop simultaneously; the posterior segments are generally at a more advanced stage of sexual maturity. The later stages in gamete development take place free in the coelom, where nourishment is supplied presumably by the mobilization of materials formerly stored in tissues surrounding the gut. Spawning commences in June and continues through to Oct. with peak activity coinciding with the period of high water temperature in Aug. and early Sept. The adult population comprises males, females and protandrous hermaphrodites which in the male phase become sexually mature in advance in advance of the rest of the population and as females later on. These transitional individuals are thought to contribute a negligible amount to the effective reproductive output in those populations living where there is marked temporal constraint on the period of reproduction. The different reproductive capacities of temperate and tropical Ficopomatus are considered.

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