n African Zoology - Growth and reproduction in the high-shore South African limpet (Mollusca : Patellogastropoda)

Volume 38, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X
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Growth and aspects of the reproductive biology of the high-shore limpet <I>Helcion pectunculus&lt;/I&gt; were determined for a southeast and southwest coast population. Limpets grew allometrically, increasing in height faster than length (<SPAN lang=AF style="FONT-FAMILY: Symbol; mso-ascii-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-hansi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-char-type: symbol; mso-symbol-font-family: Symbol"><SPAN style="mso-char-type: symbol; mso-symbol-font: Symbol">a</SPAN></SPAN>=1.3 to 1.6). Growth rates (about 5-6 mm / year shell length), were similar in both the southeast and southwest coast population, as were the theoretical L&lt;sub&gt;max&lt;/sub&gt; values of 30.86 mm and 30.71 mm, respectively. Maximum age of limpets was calculated to be 5-6 years. <I>H. pectunculus&lt;/I&gt; is a protandrous hermaphrodite, males becoming sexually mature at about 10-12 mm shell length (about one year old), and changing sex at about 16 mm shell length (about two years old). This resulted in sex ratios of about two males to one female. Limpets from both geographic locations spawned mainly in summer (November / December) with a second smaller spawning in autumn (April). There was no significant difference in the gonad index (GI) between southeast coast males and females. However the GI of southwest coast males was about 5% greater than that of the females. The gonad indices of southeast coast and southwest coast limpets was not significantly different.

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