Cryptic polymorphism in the cirratulid polychaete, Cirriformia tentaculata
George, J.D. (1967) Cryptic polymorphism in the cirratulid polychaete, Cirriformia tentaculata. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 47 (1). pp. 75-79.
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Investigations showed that populations of Cirrijormia tentaculata (Montagu) at Plymouth, Coverack and Salcombe produce both free-swimming and demersal larvae from single egg batches. The proportion of free-swimming to demersal larvae varies from one brood to another but is constant in different cultures from a single brood. Control of the proportion in which the two behavioural types are produced appears to be genotypic and not phenotypic. The larval types could not be separated morphologically but additional evidence for the existence of polymorphism in the species was provided by the variation of esterase pattern between adults. The population that existed in Southampton water previous to the winter of 1962/63 and which produced only demersal larvae was probably genetically isolated from other populations of the worm and showed behaviour atypical of the species as a whole.
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