The size and shape of parasitic larvae of naiads (Unionidae) are not dependent on female size.
Ćmiel, Adam M
Aldridge, David C
Springer Science and Business Media LLC
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Ćmiel, A. M., Dołęga, J., Aldridge, D. C., Lipińska, A., Tang, F., Zając, K., Lopes-Lima, M., & et al. (2021). The size and shape of parasitic larvae of naiads (Unionidae) are not dependent on female size.. Sci Rep, 11 (1) https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-03143-9
The naiads, large freshwater mussels (Unionida), have very long life spans, are large-bodied, and produce thousands to millions of larvae (glochidia) which typically must attach to host fish tissues to metamorphose into a juvenile mussel. Glochidia develop within a female's marsupial gill demibranch, thus their number is restricted by female size. However, larger mussels acquire more energy, which could be invested in either larger-sized glochidia, in a more glochidia, or a combination of both. The high level of host specialization seen in many naiads may constrain glochidial size and shape around a narrow optimum, while naiads that use a wide range of host fishes may be predicted to possess greater plasticity in glochidial morphology. In this paper, we investigated the relationship between maternal body size and progeny body size and shape, aided by modern digital microscopy. We analyzed the between- and within- species variation of glochidia size and shape relative to female size in four widespread species of European naiads: Anodonta anatina, Anodonta cygnea, Unio crassus and Unio tumidus. Whereas the total reproductive output is collinear with female body size, substantial differences between species in glochidia size were found within genus Anodonta, but not genus Unio where glochidial size is remarkably consistent. The glochidial shape, however, differed within both Unio and Anodonta. We interpret this constant within-species glochidial size in Unio as reflecting a constraint imposed by the likelihood of successful transmission onto and off from a narrow range of hosts, whereas their shape seems to be less constrained. The Anodonta species, inhabiting a wide spectrum of habitats and using more than twice the number of fish hosts than Unio spp., have larger glochidia with greater variation in size and shape. Our results suggest that measures of glochidial variability may also serve as an indicator of host specificity in other naiads.
Animals, Bivalvia, Body Size, Female, Larva, Male, Metamorphosis, Biological, Sex Factors, Somatotypes, Unionidae
Institute of Nature Conservation Polish Academy of Sciences (Statutory founds)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-03143-9
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/331854
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