The reproductive ecology of the Antarctic bivalve Aequiyoldia eightsii (Protobranchia: Sareptidae) follows neither Antarctic nor taxonomic patterns

Lau, Sally C.Y., Grange, Laura J., Peck, Lloyd S., and Reed, Adam J. (2018) The reproductive ecology of the Antarctic bivalve Aequiyoldia eightsii (Protobranchia: Sareptidae) follows neither Antarctic nor taxonomic patterns. Polar Biology, 41. pp. 1693-1706.

PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (3MB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website:


The accepted paradigm for reproduction in Antarctic marine species is one where oogenesis takes 18 months to 2 years, and a bimodal egg-size distribution where two cohorts of eggs are present in female gonads throughout the year. These slow gametogenic traits are driven by low temperature and/or the restriction of resource availability because of extreme seasonality in the marine environment. Here we present data on the reproductive ecology of the common Antarctic bivalve Aequiyoldia eightsii (Jay, 1839) (Protobranchia: Sarepidae) from monthly samples collected between January 2013 and May 2014 at Hangar Cove, Rothera Point on the West Antarctic Peninsula. These data show that A. eightsii is unusual because it does not follow the typical pattern expected for reproduction in Antarctic marine invertebrates, and differs also from closely related nuculanid protobranch bivalves with respect to gametogenic duration and reproductive periodicity. Continuous oogenesis, evidenced by the year-round occurrence of previtellogenic, vitellogenic, and ripe oocytes in female gonads, is supplemented by a seasonal increase in reproductive intensity and spawning in Austral winter (April–May), evidenced by the loss of mature spermatozoa and ripe oocytes from males and females, respectively. The simultaneous occurrence of these contrasting traits in individuals is attributed to a flexible feeding strategy (suspension and deposit feeding) in response to seasonal changes in food supply characteristic of the Antarctic marine environment. Asynchrony between individual females is also notable. We hypothesise that the variability may represent a trade-off between somatic and reproductive growth, and previously reported internal interannual cycles in shell growth.

Item ID: 72770
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-2056
Copyright Information: Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2022 23:44
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1804 Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments > 180404 Biodiversity in Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 6
Last 12 Months: 6
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page