By moving their cilia rapidly, they make a water eddy, to control their movement, and to bring their food closer, to capture it more easily.
Trochophores exist as a larval form within the trochozoan clade, which include the entoprocts, molluscs, annelids, echiurans, sipunculans and nemerteans. Together, these phyla make up part of the Lophotrochozoa; it is possible that trochophore larvae were present in the life cycle of the group's common ancestor.
The term trochophore derives from the ancient Greek τροχός (trókhos), meaning "wheel", and φέρω (phérō) — or φορέω (phoréō) —, meaning 'to bear, to carry', because the larva is bearing a wheel-shaped band of cilia.
Trochophore larvae are often planktotrophic; that is, they feed on other plankton species.
The example of the development of the annelid Pomatoceros lamarckii (family Serpulidae) shows various trochophore stages (image: D-F):
D - early trochophore ;
E - complete trochophore ;
F - late trochophore ;
G - metatrochophore.
- "Trochophore". Oxford Dictionaries UK English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. n.d. Retrieved 2016-01-21.
- "Trochophore". Dictionary.com Unabridged (Online). n.d. Retrieved 2016-01-21.
- Bailly, Anatole. "Greek-french dictionary online". www.tabularium.be. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
- McDougall, Carmel; Chen, Wei-Chung; Shimeld, Sebastian M.; Ferrier, David E. K. (2006). "The development of the larval nervous system, musculature and ciliary bands of Pomatoceros lamarckii (Annelida): heterochrony in polychaetes". Frontiers in Zoology. 3 (1): 16. doi:10.1186/1742-9994-3-16. PMC 1615870. PMID 17032451.
- Jackson, Daniel J.; Wörheide, Gert; Degnan, Bernard M. (2007). "Dynamic expression of ancient and novel molluscan shell genes during ecological transitions". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 7 (1): 160. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-7-160. PMC 2034539. PMID 17845714.