Reproductive cycle of the mussel Modiolus capax (Bivalvia: Mytilidae) inhabiting the eastern coast of the Gulf of California, Mexico

Liliana Carvalho Saucedo, Federico Andres García Domínguez



Background. The mussel Modiolus capax is a commercially important resource in the northwest of Mexico; however few studies evaluate its reproduction. Goals.  The reproductive activity and the gonadosomatic index of were used to describe the seasonal variations in the reproductive cycle of the M. capax and the relationship with the environmental changes. Methods. Approximately 24 specimens were collected per month in two localities at La Paz inlet, Baja California Sur, Mexico, between October 2008 and December 2010. Relationships between gonad developmental states and size were estimated; also, its relationships with temperature and chlorophyll-a. Results. The results indicated a synchronous spawning between males and females in March in one locality and in January in the other. In both localities, ripe and post-spawning females showed follicular atresia, in up to 82% of all females in one locality. The smallest organisms were found in the early gametogenesis stage; the largest, in the spawning stage. The gonadosomatic index differed between localities, and was positively correlated with the increase in chlorophyll-a. A significant relationship was observed between temperature and the frequencies of the gametogenesis and ripening stages. Conclusions. The study of the reproduction of M. capax revealed that environmental changes affect on the activity and reproductive status and favored the development of follicular atresia.

Palabras clave

Reproductive cycle, reproductive activity, gonadosomatic index.

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