Laboratory development of Capitella sp. A (Annelida: Capitellidae) from a NW Mediterranean fish farm reared under different organic enrichment conditions


  • Nuria Méndez Unidad Académica Mazatlán. Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México



polychaete, Capitella capitate, development, reproduction, organic enrichment, sibling species


The polychaete Capitella sp. A, collected in a NW Mediterranean fish farm (Les Cases d’Alcanar, Tarragona, Spain), was cultured for the first time under experimental conditions with different organically enriched sediments to study the differences in development and growth. The species proved to be dioecious and had lecithotrophic development. Sizes of individuals and duration of the developmental stages varied widely, as in most known species of Capitella. In organically enriched sediments, the juveniles were seen one day after hatching and immature females (i.e. with yellow ovaries) after 52 days. Females may reach maturity (i.e. show white intra-coelomic oocytes) at about 64 days old, and the species had a life span of 167 days. According to its development, Capitella sp. A differs from all known lecithotrophic species of the genus. The results also proved that organically enrichment enhanced growth and survival, whereas lowering food can cause morphological alterations such as reduced size in male genital spines.


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How to Cite

Méndez N. Laboratory development of Capitella sp. A (Annelida: Capitellidae) from a NW Mediterranean fish farm reared under different organic enrichment conditions. scimar [Internet]. 2016Dec.30 [cited 2022Aug.10];80(4):535-42. Available from: