Effects of food availability on larval development in the slipper limpet Crepidula onyx (Sowerby)

Bin Zhao, Jianwen QIU, Pei Yuan Qian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Effects of food availability on the larval survival and development of Crepidula onyx were studied in four experiments by feeding the larvae with different concentrations of the chrysophyte Isochrysis galbana and by starving the larvae for different periods of time. Food concentration had a clear impact on the survival, growth and development time of C. onyx veligers. Larval development occurred only at 104 cells ml-1 and higher algal concentrations. No shell increment was detected in the veligers cultured for 12 days at 102 cells ml-1 I. galbana or the blank control. At 103 cells ml-1, there was only a slight increase in shell length over 12 days. At 104 cells ml-1, about 40% of the larvae became competent in 18 days. At 105 and 106 cells ml-1, more than 90% of the larvae reached competence in 7 days. Initial starvation negatively affected the larval development, but the sensitivity differed among parameters measured on day 5: lower survivorship was detected only for larvae that had suffered 3 days or longer initial starvation, whereas one-day initial starvation caused shorter shells and lower percentage of competent larvae. Three days of continuous feeding was required for 50% of the larvae to reach competence. After feeding for 3 days, most larvae could become competent to metamorphose even under starvation. The time of starvation was also critical: larvae that suffered 1-day food deprivation in the first 2 days of larval release had shorter shells and lowered percent competent larvae than those that suffered the same length of food deprivation in later stages of development. Our study thus indicates that both food concentration and short-term starvation have detrimental effects on the larval development of this species, and that once the larva has consumed certain amount of food, starvation may induce metamorphosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-233
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2003

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Biological invasion
  • Crepidula
  • Food availability
  • Larval development


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