There is considerable interest in the early survival of benthic invertebrates but existing analyses of relationships between settlement and recruitment have some interpretational and methodological flaws. We re-analysed published data for two species to illustrate these problems. We found, contrary to the conclusions of other workers, that early survival is enhanced at greater densities of settlers. We suggest that the relationship between survival and density of settlers be further studied to test the generality of this conclusion. �� 1989.