Evidence for a water-borne cue inducing metamorphosis in the dorid nudibranch mollusc Adalaria proxima (Gastropoda: Nudibranchia)

W. J. Lambert, C. D. Todd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


The dorid nudibranch Adalaria proxima (Alder & Hancock) is a specialist predator of the cheilostome bryozoan Electra pilosa (L.). Natural induction of metamorphosis of the pelagic lecithotrophic larva of A. proxima was assessed in response to solutions from sonicated prey tissue and (live) E. pilosa-conditioned seawater (Electra-CSW). We exploited the tendency of larvae to become entrapped (rafted) at the air-water interface in cultures to examine whether larvae require direct contact with the live prey for metamorphosis to proceed. Larvae metamorphosed when rafted above colonies of live E. pilosa, above plankton mesh bags isolating live E. pilosa, and in choline chloride controls; there was no metamorphosis of larvae that were rafted in filtered seawater controls. Entrapped veliger shells remained rafted throughout the experimental period in all cases. No metamorphosis occurred in treatments containing either the supernatants or pelleted particulates obtained from sonicated colonies of E. pilosa. Both one-colony and three-colony Electra-CSW induced metamorphosis of larvae. These data are at variance with previous results in showing that direct contact with the live prey is not necessary for metamorphosis to proceed. Furthermore, the fact that competent larvae metamorphosed in response to Electra-CSW in the absence of any other cue strongly suggests that the inductive cue is water-borne.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-271
Number of pages7
JournalMarine Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1994


Dive into the research topics of 'Evidence for a water-borne cue inducing metamorphosis in the dorid nudibranch mollusc Adalaria proxima (Gastropoda: Nudibranchia)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this