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Type: Article
Published: 2009-08-31
Page range: 369–377
Abstract views: 133
PDF downloaded: 134

The ontogeny of parapodia and setae in Laeonereis culveri (Webster) (Polychaeta: Nereididae)

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Southern Maine, Portland ME 04104, USA
polychaete parapodial morphology setal succession tentacular cirri


The ontogeny of parapodia on the first four larval trunk segments was followed toward maturity in the nereidid Laeonereis culveri. The morphologies ultimately attained by the parapodia include cephalic, uniramous, and biramous forms. Setal  types and arrangements were also determined for all setigers present on discrete life history stages from larva to adult. The results showed pronounced differences in parapodial morphology and setation between larvae, postlarval juveniles, and adults. These differences stem from the sequential development of parapodial processes and setae. Taxonomists rely heavily on adult setation and parapodial morphology to characterize nereidid species, but since these features vary ontogenetically, their adult states cannot be used to distinguish species during earlier life history phases.