Reproduction and size at first maturity in a Mediterranean exploited Callista chione bivalve bed


  • Eve Galimany Instituto Español de Oceanografía, Centre Oceanogràfic de Balears - Institut de Ciències del Mar, CSIC - Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce
  • Marc Baeta Institut de Ciències del Mar - CSIC
  • Mercè Durfort Departament de Biologia Cel·lular, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona
  • Jordi Lleonart Institut de Ciències del Mar, CSIC
  • Montserrat Ramón Instituto Español de Oceanografía, Centre Oceanogràfic de Balears - Institut de Ciències del Mar, CSIC



gonads, first maturity, hermaphroditism, Veneridae, commercial mollusks


The smooth clam Callista chione is an Atlantic-Mediterranean species that is commercially exploited in several European countries. Several aspects of its reproduction were studied in a coastal location of the northwestern Mediterranean as a tool for sustainable fisheries management. Gonadal development was classified into 6 different stages, ranging from immature to degradation of the remaining sexual structures. Results showed that C. chione was able to reproduce throughout the year but a main spawning period occurred in spring. First records of hermaphrodites were found for this species. The mature spermatozoa measured 4.70±0.66 μm (without the flagellum), including a very short acrosome of 0.75±0.09 μm. The mid-piece of the spermatozoa had a mitochondrial sheath composed of five mitochondria. Ripe oocytes ranged from 60 to 80 μm in length. Size at first maturity (SL50) was estimated for the first time in a Mediterranean population, showing values of 30.26 mm in 2005-2006 but only 21.45 mm in 2014.


Download data is not yet available.


Baeta M., Ramón M. 2013. Feeding ecology of three species of Astropecten (Asteroidea) coexisting on shallow sandy bottoms of the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. Mar. Biol. 160: 2781-2795.

Baeta M., Ramón M., Galimany E. 2014. Decline of a Callista chione (Bivalvia: Veneridae) bed in the Maresme coast (northwestern Mediterranean Sea). Ocean Coast. Manage. 93: 15-25.

Camacho-Mondragón M.A., Arellano-Martínez M., Ceballos-Vázquez B.P. 2012. Particular features of gonadal maturation and size at first maturity in Atrina maura (Bivalvia: Pinnidae). Sci. Mar. 76: 539-548.

Chung E.E.-Y. 2007. Oogenesis and sexual maturation in Meretrix lusoria (Röding 1798) (Bivalvia: Veneridae) in Western Korea. J. Shellfish Res. 26: 71-80.[71:OASMIM]2.0.CO;2

Coen L.D., Brumbaugh R.D., Bushek D., et al. 2007. Ecosystem services related to oyster restoration. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 341: 303-307.

Cruz P., Rodriguez-Jaramillo C., Ibarra A.M. 2000. Environment and population origin effects on first sexual maturity of Catarina scallop, Argopecten ventricosus (Sowerby II, 1842). J. Shellfish Res. 19: 89-93.

Dame R.F. 1966. Ecology of marine bivalves: an ecosystem aproach. CRC Press, Inc. Boca Raton, Florida.

Delgado M., Pérez-Camacho A. 2007. Comparative study of gonadal development of Ruditapes philippinarum (Adams and Reeve) and Ruditapes decussatus (L.) (Mollusca: Bivalvia): Influence of temperature. Sci. Mar. 71: 471-484.

Delgado M., Silva L., Juárez A. 2013. Aspects of reproduction of striped venus Chamelea gallina in the Gulf of Cádiz (SW Spain): Implications for fishery management. Fish. Res. 146: 86-95.

Derbali A., Jarboui O., Ghorbel M. 2009. Reproductive biology of the cockle Cerastoderma glaucum (Mollusca: Bivalvia) from the north coast of Sfax (Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia). Cienc. Mar. 35: 141-152.

Drummond L., Mulcahy M., Culloty S. 2006. The reproductive biology of the Manila clam, Ruditapes philippinarum, from the North-West of Ireland. Aquaculture 254: 326-340.

Fiorito G., Gherardi F. 1999. Prey-handling behaviour of Octopus vulgaris (Mollusca, Cephalopoda) on bivalve preys. Behav. Process. 46: 75-88.

Galtsoff P.S. 1961. Physiology of reproduction in molluscs. Am. Zool. 1: 273-289.

Gaspar M.B., Dias M.D., Campos A., et al. 2001. The influence of dredge design on the catch of Callista chione (Linnaeus, 1758). Hydrobiologia 465: 153-167.

Gofas S., 2013. Callista chione (Linnaeus, 1758). Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species.

Gosling E. 2003. Bivalve molluscs, biology, ecology and culture. Oxford, UK, 443 pp.

Gutiérrez J.L., Jones C.G., Strayer D.L., et al. 2003. Mollusks as ecosystem engineers: the role of shell production in aquatic habitats. Oikos 101: 79-90.

Gwo J.-C., Yang W.-T., Sheu Y.-T., et al. 2002. Spermatozoan morphology of four species of bivalve (Heterodonta, Veneridae) from Taiwan. Tissue Cell 34: 39-43. PMid:11989969

Hilbish T.J., Zimmerman K.M. 1988. Genetic and nutritional control of the gametogenic cycle in Mytilus edulis. Mar. Biol. 98: 223-228.

Hooker S.H., Creese R.G. 1995. Reproduction of Paua, Haliotis iris Gmelin 1791 (Molluscs: Gastropoda), in north-eastern New Zealand. Mar. Freshwater Res. 46: 617-622.

Hutchings J.A. 2005. Life history consequences of overexploitation to population recovery in Northwest Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua). Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 62: 824-832.

Lee J.S., Park J.S., Shin Y.K., et al. 2013. Sequential hermaphroditism in Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum (Bivalvia: Veneridae). Invertebr. Reprod. Dev. 57: 185–188.

Lindahl O., Kollberg S. 2009. Can the EU agri-environmental aid program be extended into the coastal zone to combat eutrophication? Hydrobiologia 629: 59-64.

McShane P.E., Naylor J.R. 1995. Small-scale spatial variation in growth, size at maturity, and yield- and egg-per-recruit relations in the New Zealand abalone Haliotis iris. New Zeal. J. Mar. Fresh. 29: 603-612.

Metaxatos A. 2004. Population dynamics of the venerid bivalve Callista chione (L.) in a coastal area of the eastern Mediterranean. J. Sea Res. 52: 293-305.

Morgan E., O'Riordan R.M., Culloty S.C. 2013. Climate change impacts on potential recruitment in an ecosystem engineer. Ecol. Evol. 3: 581-594. PMid:23532482 PMCid:PMC3605848

Morton B., Peharda M., Harper E.M. 2007. Drilling and chipping patterns of bivalve prey shell penetration by Hexaplex trunculus (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Muricidae). J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 87: 933-940.

Mouëza M., Gros O., Frenkiel L. 1999. Embryonic, larval and postlarval development of the tropical clam, Anomalocardia brasiliana (Bivalvia, Veneridae). J. Mollus. Stud. 65: 73-88.

Moura P., Gaspar M.B., Monteiro C.C. 2008. Gametogenic cycle of the smooth clam Callista chione on the south-western coast of Portugal. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 88: 161-167.

Moura P., Gaspar M.B., Monteiro C.C. 2009. Age determination and growth rate of a Callista chione population from the southwestern coast of Portugal. Aquat. Biol. 5: 97-106.

Newell R.I.E. 2004. Ecosystem influences of natural and cultivated populations of suspension-feeding bivalve molluscs: a review. J. Shellfish Res. 23: 51-61.

Nicotra A., Zappata S. 1991. Ultrastructure of the mature sperm and spermiogenesis in Callista chione (Mollusca, Bivalvia). Invert. Reprod. Develop. 20: 213-218.

Ostroumov S.A. 2005. Some aspects of water filtering activity of filter-feeders. Hydrobiologia 542: 275-286.

Pérez-Larruscain J., Delgado M., Ignasi Gairín J. 2011. Larval growth and development of the smooth clam Callista chione (Mollusca: Bivalvia) under laboratory conditions. Cienc. Mar. 37: 271-277.

Popović Z., Mladineo I., Ezgeta-Balić D., et al. 2013. Reproductive cycle and gonad development of Venus verrucosa L. (Bivalvia: Veneridae) in Kaštela Bay, Adriatic Sea. Mar. Biol. Res. 9: 274-284.

Poppe G.T., Goto Y. 1993. European seashells. Verlag Christa Hemmen, Germany.

Prins T.C., Smaal A.C., Dame R.F. 1998. A review of the feedbacks between bivalve grazing and ecosystem processes. Aquat. Ecol. 31: 349-359.

Pubill E., Abelló P., Ramón M., et al. 2011. Faunistic assemblages of a sublittoral coarse sand habitat of the northwestern Mediterranean. Sci. Mar. 75: 189-196.

Romo Pi-era A.K., Ceballos-Vázquez B.P., García-Domínguez F., et al. 2009. Unusual high frequency of hermaphroditism in the gonochoric bivalve Megapitaria squalida (Sowerby, 1835) (Veneridae). J. Shellfish Res. 28: 785-789.

Saborido-Rey F., Junquera S. 1998. Histological assessment of variation in sexual maturity of cod (Gadus morhua L.) at the Flemish Cap (north-west Atlantic). ICES J. Mar. Sci. 55: 515-521.

Seed R., Suchanek T.H. 1992. Population and community ecology of Mytilus. In: Gosling E.M. (eds), The mussel Mytilus: Ecology, Physiology, Genetics and Culture. Elsevier Science Publishers B.V., pp. 87-169.

Tirado C., Salas C., López I. 2002. Reproduction of Callista chione L., 1758 (Bivalvia: Veneridae) in the littoral of Málaga (souther Spain). J. Shellfish Res. 21: 643-648.

Valli G., Marsich N., Marsich M. 1994. Riproduzione, biometria e contenuto di metalli in Callista chione (L.) (Mollusca, Bivalvia) del Golfo di Trieste nel corso di un ciclo annuale. Boll. Soc. Adriat. Sci. LXXV: 441-464.

Walker T.I. 1992. A fisheries biologists application of minimum legal lengths. In: Hancock, D.A. (eds), Workshop on Legal sizes and their use in Fisheries Management. Australia Government Public Service, pp. 47-50. PMCid:PMC1194799

Williams J.R., Babcock R.C. 2005. Assessment of size at maturity and gonad index methods for the scallop Pecten novaezelandiae. New Zeal. J. Mar. Fresh. 39: 851-864.

Wilson B.R., Hodgkin E.P. 1967. A comparative account of the reproductive cycles of five species of marine mussels (Bivalvia: Mytilidae) in the vicinity of Fremantle, Western Australia. J. Mar. Fresh. Res. 18: 175-204.



How to Cite

Galimany E, Baeta M, Durfort M, Lleonart J, Ramón M. Reproduction and size at first maturity in a Mediterranean exploited Callista chione bivalve bed. Sci. mar. [Internet]. 2015Jun.30 [cited 2024Feb.21];79(2):233-42. Available from:




Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>