Marine Biology

, Volume 101, Issue 2, pp 187–194 | Cite as

Reproductive biology of the planktonic copepod Temora stylifera

  • A. Ianora
  • B. Scotto di Carlo
  • P. Mascellaro


Laboratory studies on the reproductive cycle of the planktonic copepod Temora stylifera, collected from the Gulf of Naples between October 1987 and March 1988, showed that females oscillated between a light and dark gonadal condition. Histological preparations indicated that the dark condition corresponded to a ripe stage of oogenesis as compared to the light or unripe maturation state of primary oocytes. The number of eggs released within 24 h was strongly dependent on the reproductive status of the female at the time of incubation. Light unfed females rarely reverted to a dark or ripe condition and egg deposition in such cases was almost always zero. Dark females produced eggs within 24 h under all experimental food conditions, reverting from dark to light soon after egg deposition. Successively, the length of the interclutch period was strongly dependent on the type of food present. A high percentage of infertile eggs was almost always present. We suggest that short-term studies, not taking into consideration the condition of gonads at the time of incubation, will underestimate potential egg production rates. Females maintained for longer than three or four days produced mainly infertile eggs. After remating, females reinitiated the production of fertile eggs but egg viabilities never reached 100% hatching success, indicating poor efficiency in the fertilization of mature oocytes. We hypothesize a possible cause and effect relationship between egg viabilities and seasonal fluctuations in population densities.


Ripe Stage Mature Oocyte Hatching Success Maturation State Histological Preparation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Ianora
    • 1
  • B. Scotto di Carlo
    • 1
  • P. Mascellaro
    • 1
  1. 1.Stazione ZoologicaNaplesItaly

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