Growth and reproduction in the aeolid nudibranch Aeolidia papillosa (L.)

Stephen J. Hall*, Christopher D. Todd

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The growth and reproductive (spawn) output was followed in the laboratory for 48 Aeolidia papillosa (L.). Groups of these nudibranchs were maintained on different anemone diets throughout the entire experimental period from collection from the field, just after settlement and metamorphosis, in October 1982, until death in July 1983.Extreme between-individual variations prevented the detection of any diet-related effects on the growth-rate or final size of the molluscs. In addition, there was no evidence of any statistically significant differences in reproductive effort that could be related to anemone diet. Nevertheless, specific growth-rates among individuals which spawned (irrespective of diet) were significantly higher than those for animals which failed to reproduce. The 21 A. papillosa which spawned all showed an increasing rate of spawn production over their reproductive periods. Furthermore, in contrast to the pattern observed for other reported nudibranch species, A. papillosa continued to grow during most of this time. This pattern may possibly be related to advantages of maintaining a larger body size to enhance success of predation on anemone species: this in itself could lead to increased individual fecundity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-205
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Molluscan Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 1986


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