Advanced search
Start date

Opening the black box: diet, feeding mechanism, and pelagic duration of predatory Nemertean larvae (Nemertea: Hoplonemertea)

Grant number: 19/10375-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2019
Effective date (End): July 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Applied Zoology
Principal Investigator:Sónia Cristina da Silva Andrade
Grantee:Cecili Barrozo Mendes
Supervisor: Svetlana Maslakova
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Oregon, Charleston (UO), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:16/20005-5 - Nemertopsis bivittata (Nemertea) e Perinereis ponteni (Polychaeta:Annelida): validity of species, gene flow and genetic diversity on Brazilian coast, BP.DR


Many factors, both demographic and geographic, can influence connectivity in animal populations. Among the demographic factors, the type of reproduction, especially the larval development, can influence population connectivity. It is largely accepted that species with planktotrophic larvae have longer pelagic duration then species with lecithotrophic larvae. Consequently, populations of species with planktotrophic development tend to be less differentiated (better connected by dispersal) than those of species with lecithotrophic development. Both types of development are found within the phylum Nemertea, and within each of the three nemertean classes: the Palaeonemertea, the Pilidiophora, and the Hoplonemertea. Most pilidiophorans and palaeonemerteans possess planktotrophic larvae. Until recently, the third group, the Hoplonemertea, was thought to possess only lecithotrophic larvae. However, recent studies by Maslakova and collaborators have shown that at least some hoplonemertean species might be feeding in the plankton. This increases estimates of pelagic larval duration, and may explain surprising lack of population differentiation found in some species. However, what and how hoplonemertean larvae eat, and how long they remain in the plankton remains a mystery. Here we propose an internship of 12 months in the Maslakova Lab, at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (University of Oregon, USA), to assess the diet, feeding behavior, and pelagic duration of hoplonemertean larvae. This facility was chosen because Svetlana Maslakova is a leading expert in the world on nemertean development, biodiversity and systematics. Maslakova Lab pioneered techniques for raising nemertean larvae through metamorphosis, documenting their feeding and development, DNA-based identification of wild-caught nemertean larvae and their prey. I propose to use a PCR approach to assess the diet of wild-caught hoplonemertean larvae, and then to raise larvae of two species common in Southern Oregon, Carcinonemertes errans and Emplectonema sp., in the laboratory by exposing them to candidate prey, documenting their feeding behaviour, development, and pelagic duration. (AU)

News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship:
Articles published in other media outlets (0 total):
More itemsLess items

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
MENDES, CECILI B.; DELANEY, PAUL; TURBEVILLE, JAMES M.; HIEBERT, TERRA; MASLAKOVA, SVETLANA. Redescription of Emplectonema viride ? a ubiquitous intertidal hoplonemertean found along the West Coast of North America. ZOOKEYS, n. 1031, p. 1-17, . (19/10375-8)

Please report errors in scientific publications list by writing to: