Trophon geversianus (Pallas, 1774): The First Record of Communal Egg Masses in the Muricid Subfamily Trophoninae (Gastropoda)

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Reproductive strategies are thought to have played a major role in the adaptive radiation of neogastropods, but data are still lacking for important taxa, and the extent of plasticity in reproductive strategies is not well understood. Females of the Patagonian neogastropod Trophon geversianus are here shown for the first time to have plastic egg capsule-laying strategies. Past work has recorded only egg laying by isolated females, both in the intertidal and in the lab. New observations of egg laying in subtidal T. geversianus show that communal oviposition also occurs in this species, a first record of its kind for the species and for the subfamily Trophoninae. Given that communal oviposition in other species is commonly regarded as an adaptation to predation cues or changing environment, we propose this reproductive strategy in trophonines is an inducible response to environmental risk.

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The Nautilus, v. 129, issue 4, p. 172-174