Coral Reefs

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 221–227

Reproduction in the giant clams Tridacna gigas and T. derasa in situ on the north-central Great Barrier Reef, Australia, and Papua New Guinea

  • Richard D. Braley
Article

Abstract

Small groups of T. gigas and a single individual of T. derasa have been observed to spawn sperm in nature during the austral summer on the Great Barrier Reef. In T. gigas diel periodicity to the spawning generally coincided with incoming tides near second (full), third and fourth (new) quarters of the moon phase. Intense spawning ranged from 30 min to 2 1/2 h, with spawning contractions occurring every 2–3 min. Eggs were never observed being spawned in nature. A new technique, an egg catching device, was used for sampling eggs of T. gigas which were observed spawning sperm. Results indicated that the egg phase of spawning did not follow spawning of sperm. Some clams which do not respond to a spawning neighbour may be reproductively inactive. In 70% of observations of nearest spawning neighbours the clams were within 9 m of one another. A hypodermic extraction technique was used for clam gonadal material. Examination of tissue suggested a potential early to mid-austral summer spawning for T. gigas, and to a lesser degree for T. derasa.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Beckvar N (1981) Cultivation, spawning and growth of the giant clams Tridacna gigas, T. derasa, and T. squamosa in Palau, Caroline Islands. Aquaculture 24:21–30Google Scholar
  2. Birkeland C (1982) Terrestrial runoff as a cause of outbreaks of Acanthaster planci (Echinodermata: Asteroidea). Mar Biol 69:175–185Google Scholar
  3. Bryan PG, McConnel DB (1976) Status of giant clams stocks (Tridacnidae) on Helen Reef, Palau, Western Caroline Islands, April 1975. Mar Fish Rev 38:15–18Google Scholar
  4. Clark JP, Evans FC (1954) Distance to nearest neighbor as a measure of spatial relationships in populations. Ecology 35:445–453Google Scholar
  5. Fitt WK, Trench RK (1981) Spawning, development, and acquisition of zooxanthellae by Tridacna squamosa (Mollusca, Bivalia). Biol Bull 161:213–235Google Scholar
  6. Fitt WK, Fisher CJ, Trench RK (1984) Larval biology of tridacnid clams. Aquaculture 39:181–195Google Scholar
  7. Gwyther J, Munro JL (1981) Spawing induction and rearing of larvae of Tridacnid clams (Bivalvia: Tridacnidae). Aquaculture 24:197–217Google Scholar
  8. Heslinga GA, Perron FE, Orak O (1984) Mass culture of giant clams (F. Tridacnidae) in Palau. Aquaculture 39:197–215Google Scholar
  9. Hester FJ, Jones EC (1974) A survery of giant clams, Tridacnidae, on Helen Reef, a western Pacific atoll. Mar Fish Rev 36:17–22Google Scholar
  10. Hirschberger W (1980) Tridacnid clam stocks on Helen Reef, Palau, Western Caroline Islands. Mar Fish Rev 43:8–15Google Scholar
  11. Jameson S (1976) Early life history of the giant clams, Tridacna crocea Lamarck, Tridacna maxima (Roding) and Hippopus hippopus (Linnaeus). Pac Sci 30:219–233Google Scholar
  12. Johannes RE, Tepley L (1974) Examination of feeding of the reef coral Porites lobata in situ using time lapse photography. Proc 2nd Coral Reef Symp 1:127–131Google Scholar
  13. La Barbera M (1975) Larval and post larval development of the giant clams Tridacna maxima (Roding), and Tridacna squamosa Lamarck (Tridacnidae: Bivalvia). Malacologia 15:69–79Google Scholar
  14. Munro JL, Heslinga GA (1982) Prospects for the commercial cultivation of giant clams (Bivalvia: Tridacnidae). Presented at the 35th Meeting Gulf and Caribbean Fish Institute, Nassau, Bahamas, November 1982Google Scholar
  15. Munro PE, Beard JH, Lacanienta E (1983) Investigations on the substance which causes sperm release in tridacnid clams. Comp Biochem Physiol 74C:219–223Google Scholar
  16. Pearson RG (1977) Impact of foreign vessels poaching on giant clams. Aust Fish 36:8–11Google Scholar
  17. Porter JW (1974) Zooplanton feeding by the Carobbean reef-building coral Montastrea cavernosa. Proc. 2nd Int Coral Reef Symp 1:111–125Google Scholar
  18. Sokal RR, Rohlf FJ (1969) Biometry. Freeman, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  19. Stasek CR (1962) The form, growth, and evolution of the Tridacnidae (Giant clams). Arch Zool Exp Gen 101:1–40Google Scholar
  20. Stephenson A (1934) The breeding of reef animals. II. Invertebrates other than corals. Sci Rep Great Barrier Reef Exped 3:247–272Google Scholar
  21. Wada SK (1954) Spawning in the Tridacnid clams. Jpn J Zool 11:273–285Google Scholar
  22. Yamaguchi M (1977) Conservation and culture of giant clams in the Tropical Pacific. Biol Conserv 11:13–20Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard D. Braley
    • 1
  1. 1.School of ZoologyUniversity of New South WalesKensingtonAustralia

Personalised recommendations