Studies on the biology of Spirorbinae (Polychaeta)


  • *Department of National Museums, Colombo 7, Ceylon.


Of four species studied, tolerance of extreme temperatures in greatest in Spirorbis pagenstecheri (which extends highest on the shore) and least in S. corallinae (which always occurs immersed in water). The latter species breeds between May and August, the other three from May to October. S. borealis liberates its larvae mainly at the moon's quarters, but this fortnightly rhythm is less obvious in S. corallinae and not found in the other two species. S. corallinae differs from S. borealis in being slower to re-emerge after disturbance and in having a lesser breeding size, maximum size and life span. Growth in the laboratory is slower in S. tridentatus than in the other species. Growth of S. borealis under natural conditions is much faster in summer than in winter.