Reproductive Biology

Mating takes place all year long but least often in July. Individuals each carry an ovitestis, spermoval duct, and uterus. Individuals often mate in triplets, the middle partner both donating and receiving sperm. A fertilized individual will lay several egg clusters or capsules within a few days after mating. A typical egg capsule is oval, transparent and gelatinous, 0.2 in (5 mm) long and 0.08 in (2 mm) wide, with a tough outer membrane, and holding about 30 eggs. These capsules appear to be able to repel growth of fungi and other pathogens. The eggs hatch in about 30 days. The embryos are able to produce the luminescent substance mix 10 days before hatching. Newly hatched latia feed on the eggshells and capsule before moving on to adult fare. The hatchlings have planispiral shells that soon change to the limpetlike form. Average life span is about three years.


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