The influence of photoperiodicity on hatching of Sepia officinalis was investigated under different experimental light-dark (LD) conditions. The results are viewed in relation to some relevant properties of the perivitelline fluid (PVF) and the egg capsule during embryonic development. In embryos of S. officinalis the transition from light to dark ap-pears to act as a 'Zeitgeber' or synchronizer. The embryos consistently hatched during periods of darkness, even when the duration of the dark period was short (1–4 h) and replaced part of the natural light period. The hatching rhythm was independent of the embryonic stage at which the experimentwas started. Embryos that developed under a given LD rhythm did not hatch at that rhythm if it was changed or eliminated. In the absence of an external LD rhythm the time to hatching increased. Lack of pigmentation in the egg envelope appeared to reduce the time to hatching. If embryos were exposed to a single dark period of 1–4 h significantly more hatched during darkness while a dark-pulse of ten minutes resulted in no hatching. At the end of embryonic development the egg capsule of S. officinalis becomes thinner due to the expanding PVF. Absence ofthe envelope did not affect embryonic development but dramatically increased mortality and prema hire hatching (96%). Spectrophotometrical investigations indicated that light between 200 and 900 nm is absorbed similarly by the envelope and by female ink. The function of pigmentation in the envelopes remains obscure.
|Journal||Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom|
|Publication status||Published - 1991|