An alternative mode of larval development inScoloplos armiger (O. F. Müller, 1776) (Polychaeta, Orbiniidae)
© Biologische Anstalt Helgoland 1991
During a three-year plankton monitoring at the island of Helgoland (German Bight, North Sea), pelagic larvae ofScoloplos armiger (O. F. Müller, 1776) were observed to occur regularly from February to April. Up to the present day, only benthic development within egg cocoons has been described (Anderson, 1959). Planktonic larvae comprise early, ovoid trochophores up to advanced stages with 11 setigers. The main morphological difference between the two larval types is the more numerous differentiation of lateral cilia by the pelagic larvae. Annual alterations in appearance and abundance suggest that reproduction is correlated with water temperature.