, Volume 57, Issue 1, pp 25-34

Annual internal growth banding and life history of the ocean quahog Arctica islandica (Mollusca: Bivalvia)

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Abstract

Internal growth bands visible in cross-sections of the valves and hinge plates of Arctica islandica Linné are deposited annually, possibly in response to the reproductive cycle. Growth rate and longevity, inferred from the bands, are surprising: A. islandica grows very slowly and lives to an advanced age. Individuals with more than 90 bands are not uncommon; the maximum number of bands discovered so far is 149. On the basis of average size for Middle Atlantic Bight specimens, modal age is estimated to range from 65 to 105 years.

Communicated by I. Morris, West Boothbay Harbor