Aspects of the life history and reproductive biology of the worm Paraprionospio pinnata.




Mayfield, S.M.

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Texas A&M University.


This study of the life history and reproductive biology of Paraprionospio pinnata, was conducted from four different approaches. Population dynamics gave me an overall indication of the complexities of this species' life history. This approach suggested spawning occurred during summer. The high mortality rates of large size class worms seen during early summer was suggestive of spawing related death. Population dynamics indicated recruitment occurred June through December. Through maturation studies, I was able to determine during summer multiple generations of worms were produced. The rapid proliferation observed during summer could be indicative of an opportunistic life history. P. pinnata was shown to be monotelic with individuals producing one clutch of gametes then dying. Fecundity studies indicated clutch size typically consisted of 6000 eggs. The morphology of oocytes and their follicle cells were described. Vitellogenesis in this species occurs while the oocytes float freely within the coelomic cavity. Evidence collected suggests, females of this species possess storage sites to which sperm cells are attracted prior to spawning.


102 p., Thesis


Paraprionospio pinnata, Life history, Reproduction, fecundity, Spawning, Reproductive behavior, Population dynamics