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Reproduction and development in the lucinid clam codakia orbicularis

Reproduction and development in the lucinid clam codakia orbicularis

Bulletin of Marine Science 34(3): 424-434

The tiger lucine C. orbicularis is a large edible clam being investigated as a mariculture candidate in the Bahamas Islands. Gonad development and spawning seasons were assessed by monthly sampling of C. orbicularis from Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas and Key Biscayne, Florida. Histological examination of clams showed most of the populations sampled to be ripe between April and Nov. Natural spawning probably occurs May-Oct. C. orbicularis is dioecious, seldom responding to standard spawning techniques, including physical and chemical stimuli. Artificial fertilization by carefully stripping gonads produced 15-20% viable embryos. Eggs are 108-112 .mu.m in diameter and are singularly encased in a thick capsular membrane. Following fertilization, the gastrula, trochophore and early veliger stages develop within the capsular membrane. Upon hatching, planktonic veligers range from 150-174 .mu.m in shell length and develop to the pediveliger stage in approximately 12 days at 24.degree. C. Metamorphosis occurs approximately 16 days after fertilization. Larval development within the superfamily Lucinacea is characterized by formation of a gelatinous capsule. The long planktonic development and facultative planktotrophy of C. orbicularis is unusual for lecithotrophic bivalve larvae. Larvae of C. orbicularis and other lucinids may also derive nutrition from chemosynthetic bacteria located within their tissues, as reported for adults.

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