Reproductive biology

All members of the Cocculinoidea studied thus far have been found to be simultaneous hermaphrodites with distinct regions of the gonad producing eggs and sperm. The eggs are rich in yolk and development is thought to be lecithotrophic as in other basal gastropods such as the Patellogastropoda and the Vetigastropoda. Because of the ephemeral nature of the substrates used by members of the Cocculinifomia, larval duration must be sufficient for the larvae to mature and locate suitable habitat on the deep-sea bottom. Such a strategy often incorporates relatively rapid maturation, followed by an extended period of larval competence for locating suitable substrates. This strategy is also often associated with year-round reproduction to maximize the probability of locating patchy habitats. Moreover, in the deep sea, seasonal clues such as day length, water temperature, storm periods, food availability, etc. are nonexistent.

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