University Of Tasmania
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Description and quantification of developmental abnormalities in a natural Sepioteuthis australis spawning population (Mollusca: Cephalopoda)

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posted on 2023-05-25, 22:01 authored by Gowland, FC, Moltschaniwskyj, NA, Steer, MA
Eggs of the southern calamary Sepioteuthis australis were sampled from spawning sites off eastern Tasmania, Australia, during an austral spring/summer spawning season. At fortnightly intervals, 3 unfouled and 3 biofouled egg strands were sampled from 6 to 23 distinct egg masses (Neggs = 2649)" Highly significant variation was noted between sample dates in the frequency of unfertilised eggs, developmental abnormalities and egg mortalities. Unfertilised eggs were only found during late October and early November and represented a mean 2.12 plus or minus 1.25% SE and 0.58 plus or minus 0.58% SE eggs per strand respectively. Frequency of abnormality varied significantly between sample dates and ranged from 8.35 plus or minus 1.86% SE eggs per strand in late November to 0.92 plus or minus 0.41% SE in late December. Abnormalities were arbitrarily categorised as defects in external yolk sac morphology, reduced embryonic size, mantle deformities, eye deformities and arm deformities. Defects in external yolk sac morphology were found throughout the spawning season and accounted for 46.3% of all abnormalities. Incidence of mortality varied significantly between sample dates and ranged from 1.40 plus or minus 0.68% SE per strand in late October to 11.61 plus or minus 3.23% SE in early January. Highly significant correlation was noted between incidence of developmental abnormality and within-strand egg position. Biofouled egg strands were characterised by comparatively low incidences of unfertilised and dead eggs. The influences of environment, egg position and biofouling upon embryonic development in S. australis are discussed.


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Marine Ecology Progress Series







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