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Veliger larva


Phylum Mollusca
Class Gastropoda


  • The characteristic developmental stage of most mollusc groups, with the exception of cephalopods (squid and octopus).

Distinguishing characteristics

  • Can bear some resemblance to the adult as the shell, foot, eyes and other organs develop.
  • Main characteristic feature of the larva is the velum, the swimming organ, which comprises two large semi-circular lobes bearing long cilia along the perimeter.


  • Can be seasonally abundant when marine snails, limpets, abalone, sea slugs, oysters and mussels etc. disperse their larvae into the water.


  • Can be non-feeding or feeding stages.
  • Feeding stage uses the velum for suspension feeding as well as for swimming.
  • The velum is shed before settlement and the adoption of benthic life.