AB 16:69-83 (2012)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00434

Reproductive cycle of Bolinus brandaris (Gastropoda: Muricidae) in
the Ria Formosa lagoon (southern Portugal)

Paulo Vasconcelos1,2,*, Paula Moura1, Carlos M. Barroso2, Miguel B. Gaspar1

1Instituto Nacional de Recursos Biológicos (INRB, I.P./IPIMAR), Avenida 5 de Outubro s/n, 8700-305 Olhão, Portugal
2Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar (CESAM), Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal

ABSTRACT: The purple dye murex Bolinus brandaris is a commercially valuable gastropod in Portugal. However, there is a lack of knowledge on the reproductive cycle in Atlantic populations of this species. In this context, the reproductive cycle of B. brandaris from the Ria Formosa lagoon, southern Portugal, was studied using standard histology and light microscopy and the calculation of bio-physiological indices (gonadosomatic indices for both sexes, penial index for males and capsule gland indices for females). Monthly variation in gonad developmental stages and bio-physiological indices revealed that B. brandaris has an annual reproductive cycle, long gonadal activity and a relatively short resting phase. Spawning occurred mainly between May and July, with a clear spawning peak from June to July. Gonad maturation and spawning appear to be synchronised with the seasonal variation in seawater temperature. Slight asynchrony between the peak of male gamete release and the peak of female spawning might be interpreted as a modality to increase the reproductive success. The timing of spawning was compared with analogous information available for other regions throughout the species distributional range. The present study provides baseline information for proposing fishery management measures, particularly a closed season in the fishing or harvesting activity during the spawning peak of B. brandaris aimed at protecting the female broodstock and collective spawns. The overall results from the bio-physiological indices (especially the penial index and the area-based gonadosomatic and capsule gland indices) encourage the adoption of similar approaches with other gastropod species, namely in routine analyses that do not require a detailed histological description.


KEY WORDS: Purple dye murex · Gonad histology · Bio-physiological indices · Gametogenic cycle · Spawning season · Fisheries management


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Cite this article as: Vasconcelos P, Moura P, Barroso CM, Gaspar MB (2012) Reproductive cycle of Bolinus brandaris (Gastropoda: Muricidae) in
the Ria Formosa lagoon (southern Portugal). Aquat Biol 16:69-83. https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00434

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