BIOTIC Species Information for Polydora ciliata
Researched byLizzie Tyler Data supplied byUniversity of Sheffield
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeGonochoristic
Developmental mechanismPlanktotrophic
Reproductive SeasonFebruary to June Reproductive LocationAdult burrow
Reproductive frequencyAnnual protracted Regeneration potential No
Life span1-2 years Age at reproductive maturity<1 year
Generation time<1 year Fecundity1200 - 8800
Egg/propagule size170µm Fertilization typeInsufficient information
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potential>10km Larval settlement periodInsufficient information
Duration of larval stage1-2 months   
Reproduction Preferences Additional Information
  • Sperm are drawn into the burrow of the female in the respiratory current and the eggs are laid in a string of capsules. A single female produces many capsules, each containing up to about 60 eggs, the individual capsules being attached by two threads to the wall of the burrow. Capsules are brooded for about a week before the larvae are released into the water column.
  • Spawning period varies, from February until June in northern England (Gudmundsson, 1985) and in the Black Sea spawning lasted from April - September (Murina, 1997). In Belgium (Daro & Polk, 1973) and northern England (Gudmundsson, 1985) three or even four generations succeeded one another during the spawning period. The number of offspring produced per female varied from 200 to 2200.
  • After a week, the larvae emerge and are believed to have a pelagic life from two to six weeks before settling (Fish & Fish, 1996). Settlement and metamorphosis takes place when the larvae has 17-18 setigers.
  • Larvae are substratum specific selecting rocks according to their physical properties or sediment depending on substrate particle size.
  • Larvae of Polydora ciliata have been collected as far as 118km offshore (Murina, 1997) and along the Belgian coast were found in the plankton all year round with a peak in the summer (Daro & Polk 1973).
Reproduction References Fish & Fish, 1996, Daro & Polk, 1973, Murina, 1997, Gudmundsson, 1985, Eckert, 2003, Giangrande, 1997,
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