Early ontogenetic shells of Limopsis angusta, L. aurita, L. cristata, L. friedbergi and L. minuta are described in detail and their morphogenetic traits discussed in a phylogenetic context. Prodissoconch length is found to range from 170-370 μm discounting the so-called prodissoconch 2 stage of authors. Reports of such a stage refer to the early postlarval 'interdissoconch'. Prodissoconch sizes are indicative of lecithotrophy but not of brooding. Limopsid-like prodissoconchs are rather common among pteriomorphs and at present of little use for phylogenetic interpretations, therefore. The early postlarval hinge is characterized by two tooth generations: an early one, (G1), representing the postlarval continuation of provincular teeth, and a late one, (G2), representing the independent adult dentition. This is a plesiomorphic trait for Pteriomorphia. The postlarval ligament is continuous with the larval resilium; it is neither co-functional with nor is it substituted by the typical duplivincular ligament as in other arcoids. Occasionally developed ridges, gutters or multiplication of ligament sublayers remain restricted to the primordial resilifer. It is concluded that the limopsid adult ligament represents a fusion of adult sublayer repetition within a retained larval resilium, a phenomenon best described as a heterochronic process. Comparisons with homologous characters of other arcoids support the view that Limopsidae evolved from parallelodontid arcoids and that they gave rise to Philobryidae but not to Glycymerididae. © 2005 Taylor & Francis.
- Early ontogeny
- Shell morphology