Marine Biology

, Volume 158, Issue 10, pp 2335–2342 | Cite as

Where are larvae of the vermetid gastropod Dendropoma maximum on the continuum of larval nutritional strategies?

  • Nicole E. PhillipsEmail author
Original Paper


This study evaluated whether larvae of the Indo-Pacific vermetid gastropod Dendropoma maximum are obligate planktotrophs, or whether they exhibit an intermediate feeding strategy. Experiments were conducted in Moorea, French Polynesia (149°50′W, 17°30′S), Sep–Oct 2009, to examine D. maximum larval growth and metamorphic responses to different diets and amounts of food. Dendropoma maximum larvae required particulate food to undergo metamorphosis, but were able to survive and grow in the absence of food for up to 20 days. Larvae in Low and Unfed food treatments exhibited phenotypic plasticity by growing a larger velum (the larval feeding structure) compared with those in high food. Unfed D. maximum larvae had a slower initial growth rate; however, by 11-day post-hatch fed and unfed larvae had converged on the same mean shell height (553 μm), which was only 10% larger than the initial size at hatching. Therefore, although the nutritional strategy of D. maximum larvae is best described as obligate planktotrophy, it appears to approach an intermediate feeding strategy.


Food Treatment Larval Growth Shell Height Coral Rubble Isochrysis Galbana 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work benefited from useful discussions with J. Shima and C. Osenberg, and the help and support of D. McNaughtan. This research was conducted with permission from the Delegation a la Recherche de la Polynesie Francaise, and it is contribution number 193 from UC Berkeley’s Richard B. Gump South Pacific Research Station, Moorea, French Polynesia. Funding for this research was provided by Victoria University of Wellington. I also thank C. Osenberg and J. Shima for their logistical support, made possible, in part, by a grant from NSF (OCE-0242312).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Victoria University Coastal Ecology Laboratory and School of Biological SciencesVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

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