Reproductive activity and biochemical composition of the pullet carpet shell Venerupis senegalensis (Gmelin, 1791) (Mollusca: Bivalvia) from Ria de Aveiro (northwestern coast of Portugal)


  • Sandra Joaquim Instituto Nacional de Recursos Biológicos, L-IPIMAR
  • Domitília Matias Instituto Nacional de Recursos Biológicos, L-IPIMAR
  • Ana Margarete Matias Instituto Nacional de Recursos Biológicos, L-IPIMAR
  • Paula Moura Instituto Nacional de Recursos Biológicos, L-IPIMAR
  • William S. Arnold NOAA/NMFS
  • Luís Chícharo Universidade do Algarve, Centro de Ciências do Mar (CCMAR)
  • Miguel Baptista Gaspar Instituto Nacional de Recursos Biológicos, L-IPIMAR



pullet carpet shell, Venerupis senegalensis, biochemical composition, condition index, reproductive cycle


The present study characterizes the reproductive cycle of Venerupis senegalensis (=V. pullastra) from Ria de Aveiro (Portugal) as well as its nutrient storage and exploitation strategy. The reproductive cycle followed a seasonal cycle that correlated negatively with sea surface temperature, and comprised a ripe stage in winter followed by a spawning period that began in late winter and ended in the early summer. This extended spawning may be an advantageous strategy for the species because it ensures a continuous supply of settlers. Gametogenesis began in late summer/early autumn and intensified with the decrease in temperature during autumn. The condition index increased even during the spawning period, which indicates that there is rapid recovery and that reserves are accumulated during late summer and used later in the gametogenic process. Proteins did not contribute significantly to gametogenesis and the glycogen pattern is typical of conservative species, since gametogenesis depends largely on the amount of glycogen stored. The lipid storage and utilization cycle showed that gametogenesis took place in autumn/winter and that energy reserves were accumulated in summer.


Download data is not yet available.


Albentosa, M., M.J. Fernández-Reiriz, U. Labarta, and A. Pérez-Camacho. – 2007. Response of two species of clams, Ruditapes decussatus and Venerupis pullastra, to starvation: Physiological and biochemical parameters. Comp. Biochem. Phys., 146: 241-249. doi:10.1016/j.cbpb.2006.10.109 PMid:17196861

Alvarez-Seoane, G. – 1960. Variación estacional de la composición química de la almeja babosa (Tapes pullastra, Mont.). Inv. Pesq., 17: 2-32.

Barber, B.J. and N.J. Blake. – 1981. Energy storage and utilization in relation to gametogenesis in Argopecten irradians concentricus (Say). J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol., 52: 121-134. doi:10.1016/0022-0981(81)90031-9

Beninger, P.G. and A. Lucas. – 1984. Seasonal variation in condition, reproductive activity and gross biochemical composition of two species of adult clam reared in a common habitat: Tapes decussatus L. (Jeffreys) and Tapes philippinarum (Adams and Reeve). J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol., 79: 19-37. doi:10.1016/0022-0981(84)90028-5

Beukema, J.J. and W. De Bruin. – 1979. Calorific values of the soft parts of the tellinid bivalve Macoma balthica (L.) as determined by two methods. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol., 37: 19-30. doi:10.1016/0022-0981(79)90023-6

Cerviño-Otero, A., J. Ojea, S. Nóvoa and D. Martínez. – 2007a. Comparativa de la evolución del Ciclo Gametogénico entre una población submareal y otra intermareal de almeja babosa Venerupis pullastra (Montagu, 1803) de O Grove (SO de Galicia). Act. XI Congr. Nac. Acuic., 427-430.

Cerviño-Otero, A., S. Nóvoa, J. Ojea and D. Martínez. – 2007b. Composición bioquímica de dos poblaciones naturales de almeja babosa Venerupis pullastra (Montagu, 1803) de O Grove (SO de Galicia). Diferencias entre el intermareal y submareal. Act. XI Congr. Nac. Acuic., 431-434.

Delgado, M. and A. Pérez-Camacho. – 2005. Histological study of the gonadal development of Ruditapes decussatus (L.) (Mollusca: Bivalvia) and its relationship with available food. Sci. Mar., 69: 87-97.

Delgado, M. and A. Pérez-Camacho. – 2007. Comparative study of gonadal development of Ruditaes philippinarum (Adams and Reeve) and Ruditapes decussatus (L.) (Mollusca: Bivalvia): Influence of temperature. Sci. Mar., 71(3): 471-484. doi:10.3989/scimar.2007.71n3471

FAO. – 2006-2010. Cultured Aquatic Species Information Programme. Venerupis pullastra. Text by Figueras, A. In: FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department [online]. Rome. Updated 26 October 2006. Fernandez Castro, N. and N. Vido de Mattio. – 1987. Biochemical composition, condition index, and energy value of Ostrea puelchana (d’Orbigny): relationships with reproductive cycle. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol., 108: 113-126.

Folch, J., M. Lees and G.H. Sloane Stanley. – 1957. A simple method for the isolation and purification of total lipids from animal tissue. J. Biol. Chem., 226: 497-509. PMid:13428781

Gabbott, P.A. – 1975. Storage cycles in marine bivalve molluscs: a hypothesis concerning the relationship between glycogen metabolism and gametogenesis. In: H. Barnes (eds.), Proc. 9th Eur. Mar. Biol. Symp. Aberdeen University Press, Aberdeen: 191-211.

Gabbott, P.A. – 1976. Energy metabolism. In: B.L. Bayne (eds.), Marine Mussels:Their Ecology and Physiology. Cambridge University Press: 293-357.

Gabbott, P.A. and B.L. Bayne. – 1973. Biochemical effects of temperature and nutritive stress on Mytilus edulis L. J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. U.K., 53: 269-286. doi:10.1017/S0025315400022268

Gaspar, M.B. and C.C. Monteiro. – 1998. Reproductive cycles of the razor clam Ensis siliqua and the clam Venus striatula off Vilamoura, southern Portugal. J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. U.K., 78: 1247-1258. doi:10.1017/S0025315400044465

González, N. – 1975. Composición bioquímica y medio ambiente de Venerupis decussata y Venerupis pullastra en la ría de Pasaje, La Coruña. Bol Inst. Esp. Oceanogr., 194: 3-44.

Joaquim, S., M.B. Gaspar, D. Matias, R. Ben-Hamadou and W.S. Arnold. – 2008a. Rebuilding viable spawner patches of the overfished Spisula solida (Mollusca: Bivalvia): a preliminary contribution to fishery sustainability. ICES J. Mar. Sci., 65: 60-64. doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsm167

Joaquim, S., D. Matias, B. Lopes, W.S. Arnold and M.B. Gaspar. – 2008b. The reproductive cycle of white clam Spisula solida (L.) (Mollusca: Bivalvia): Implications for aquaculture and wild stock management. Aquaculture, 281: 43-48. doi:10.1016/j.aquaculture.2008.05.018

Joaquim, S., J. Pereira, A. Leitão, D. Matias, R. Chaves, H. Guedes-Pinto, L. Chícharo and M.B. Gaspar. – 2010. ••Genetic diversity of two Portuguese populations of the pullet carpet shell Venerupis senegalensis, based on RAPD markers: Contribution to a sustainable restocking program. Helgol. Mar. Res.

Li, Y., J.G. Qin, X. Li and K. Benkendorff. – 2009. Monthly variation of condition index, energy reserves and antibacterial activity in Pacific oysters, Crassostrea gigas, in Stansbury (South Australia). Aquaculture, 286: 64-71. doi:10.1016/j.aquaculture.2008.09.004

Liu, W., Q. Li, Y. Yuan and S. Zhang. – 2008. Seasonal variations on reproductive activity and biochemical composition of the cockle Fulvia mutica (Reeve) from the eastern coast of China. J. Shellfish Res., 27 (2): 405-411. doi:10.2983/0730-8000(2008)27[405:SVIRAA]2.0.CO;2

Lopes, J.F. and C. Silva. – 2006. Temporal and spatial distribution of dissolved oxygen in the Ria de Aveiro lagoon. Ecol. Model., 197: 67-88. doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2006.03.012

Lopes, C.B., A.I. Lillebø, J.M. Dias, E. Pereira, C. Vale and A.C. Duarte. – 2007. Nutrient dynamics and seasonal succession of phytoplankton assemblages in a Southern European Estuary: Ria de Aveiro, Portugal. Est. Coast. Shelf Sci., 71: 480-490. doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2006.09.015

Magnesen, T. and G. Christophersen.- 2008. Reproduction cycle and conditioning of translocated scallops (Pecten maximus) from five broodstock populations in Norway. Aquaculture, 285: 109-116. doi:10.1016/j.aquaculture.2008.08.024

Maia, F., M.P. Sobral and M.B. Gaspar. – 2006. Ciclo reprodutivo e primeira maturação de Solen marginatus e Venerupis pullastra na Ria de Aveiro. Bases científicas para a gestão destes recursos. Relat. Cient. Téc. IPIMAR, 30: 1-35.

Mao, Y., Y. Zhou, H. Yang and R.Wang. – 2006. Seasonal variation in metabolism of cultured Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, in Sanggou Bay, China. Aquaculture, 253: 322-333. doi:10.1016/j.aquaculture.2005.05.033

Marin, M.G., V. Moschino, M. Deppieri and L. Lucchetta. – 2003. Variations in gross biochemical composition, energy value and condition index of T. philippinarum from the lagoon of Venice. Aquaculture, 219: 859-871. doi:10.1016/S0044-8486(03)00035-8

Marsh, J.B. and D.B. Weinstein. – 1966. Simple charring method for determination of lipids. J. Lipid Res., 7: 574-576. PMid:5965305

Martinez, G. – 1991. Seasonal variation in biochemical composition of three size classes of Chilean scallop Argopecten purpuratus Lamarck, 1819. Veliger, 34: 335-343.

Massapina, C. and I. Arrobas. – 1991. A cultura de moluscos bivalves na Ria Formosa: estado actual e perspectivas.1º Simpósio NOPROT, 4-6 Abril, Abstract book: 22-23.

Massapina, C., S. Joaquim, D. Matias and N. Devauchelle. – 1999. Oocyte and embryo quality in Crassostrea gigas (Portuguese strain) during a spawning period in Algarve, South Portugal. Aquat. Living Resour., 12: 327-333. doi:10.1016/S0990-7440(99)00115-1

Mathieu, M., and P. Lubet. – 1993. Storage tissue metabolism and reproduction in marine bivalves - a brief review. Invertebr. Reprod. Dev., 23: 123-129. doi:10.1080/07924259.1993.9672303

Mouneyrac, C., S. Linot, J.-C. Amiard, C. Amiard-Triquet, I. Métais, C. Durou, C. Minier, and J. Pellerin. – 2008. Biological indices, energy reserves, steroid hormones and sexual maturity in the infaunal bivalve Scrobicularia plana from three sites differing by their level of contamination. Gen., Comp. Endocrinol., 157: 133-141. doi:10.1016/j.ygcen.2008.04.010 PMid:18511050

Moura, P., M.B. Gaspar and C.C. Monteiro. – 2008. Gametogenic cycle of the smooth clam Callista chione on the southwestern coast of Portugal. J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. U.K., 88: 161-167. doi:10.1017/S0025315408000337

Normand, J., M. Le Pennec and P. Boudry. – 2008. Comparative histological study of gametogenesis in diploid and triploid Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) reared in an estuarine farming site in France during the 2003 heatwave. Aquaculture, 282: 124-129. doi:10.1016/j.aquaculture.2008.06.026

O’Connor, W.A. and M.P. Heasman. – 1995. Spawning induction and fertilisation in the doughboy scallop Chlamys (Mimachlamys) asperrima. Aquaculture, 136: 117-129. doi:10.1016/0044-8486(95)01040-8

Ojea, J., A.J. Pazos, D. Martinez, S. Novoa, J.L. Sanchez and M. Abad. – 2004. Seasonal variation in weight and biochemical composition of the tissues of Ruditapes decussatus in relation to the gametogenic cycle. Aquaculture, 238: 451-468. doi:10.1016/j.aquaculture.2004.05.022

Paine, R.T. – 1971. The measurement and application of the calorie to ecological problems. Ann. Rev. Ecolog. Syst., 2: 145-164. doi:10.1146/

Pérez-Camacho, A. – 1980. Biología de Venerupis pullasta (Montagu, 1983) y Venerupis decussata (Linne, 1767), con especial referencia a los factores determinantes de la producción. Bol. Inst. Esp. Oceanogr., 5(4): 43-76.

Pérez-Camacho, A., M. Delgado, M.J. Fernández-Reiriz and U. Labarta. – 2003. Energy balance, gonad development and biochemical composition in the clam Ruditapes decussatus. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 258: 133-145. doi:10.3354/meps258133

Shakir, F.K., D. Audilet, A.J. Drake III and M.M. Shakir. – 1994. A rapid protein determination by modification of the Lowry Procedure. Anal. Biochem., 216: 232-233. doi:10.1006/abio.1994.1031 PMid:8135358

Seed, R. – 1976. Ecology. In B.L, Bayne (eds.), Marine mussels: Their ecology and Physiology, Cambridge University Press: 13-65.

Sokal, R.R. and F.J. Rohlf. – 1981. Biometry. W.H. Freeman Co. (eds.), San Francisco.

Viles, F.J. and Silverman. – 1949. Determination of starch and cellulose with anthrone. J. Anal. Chem., 21: 950-953. doi:10.1021/ac60032a019

Villalba, A., M.J. Carballal and M. C. López. – 1993. Estudio del ciclo gonadal de tres especies de almeja, Ruditapes decussatus, Venerupis pullastra y Venerupis romboides de la rías gallegas. Act. IV Congr. Nac. Acuic.: 341-346.

Walne, P.R. and R. Mann. – 1975. Growth and biochemical composition of Ostrea edulis and Crassostrea gigas. In: H. Barnes (eds.), Proc. 9th Eur. Mar. Biol. Symp. Oban. Scotlland. 587-607.

Xie, Q. and G.M. Burnell. – 1994. A comparative study of the gametogenic cycles of the clams Tapes philippinarum (Adams and Reeve 1850) and Tapes decussatus (Linnaeus) on the south coast of Ireland. J. Shellfish Res., 13 (2): 467-472.




How to Cite

Joaquim S, Matias D, Matias AM, Moura P, Arnold WS, Chícharo L, Baptista Gaspar M. Reproductive activity and biochemical composition of the pullet carpet shell Venerupis senegalensis (Gmelin, 1791) (Mollusca: Bivalvia) from Ria de Aveiro (northwestern coast of Portugal). scimar [Internet]. 2011Jun.30 [cited 2023Feb.7];75(2):217-26. Available from: