Sluglets have arrived!

I know you are still eagerly awaiting photos and videos of the developing embryos, but this is just too cool not to post immediately.  The eggs I collected October 25 (laid the 18th or 19th) started hatching this weekend.  I always thought veligers hovered about in a stately manner, but they really zoom around like radio-controlled helicopters.  The video below is pretty awful, but gives a sense of how they move.

Even more exciting is that some of them have settled,like this little one, who still has her shell.

settledveliger110614_46Veliger crawling on Bryopsis.

Veliger crawling on Bryopsis.

It gets even better. A few have shed their shells and started to crawl around.

Larva crawling in dish 11/6/14

Larva crawling in dish 11/6/14

There has certainly been a lot of mortality, and I am trying to figure out how to keep a large proportion of the veligers from getting stuck at the surface.  I have also learned that some of the predatory flatworms infesting the Bryopsis are very fast and eat veligers like candy. Little by little, we are figuring things out.

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