Marine Biology

, Volume 101, Issue 2, pp 227–234 | Cite as

Life history of the golden ring cowry Cypraea annulus (Mollusca: gastropoda) on Okinawa Island, Japan

  • M. Katoh


Two mark-recapture studies, regular population censuses, field observations, and laboratory culture were used to study the life history of the tropical marine gastropod Cypraea annulus Linnaeus, 1758 from Cape Maeda, Okinawa Island, from April 1984 to March 1986. In the field, the average rate of increase in shell length of marked juvenile snails was 1.0±0.3 mm wk-1 (N=13), with a maximum of 1.5 mm wk-1 (initial shell length 10.6 to 17.2 mm). In the laboratory, the maximum growth rate of juveniles was 3.0 mm wk-1 with food ad libitum. Snails with primordial teeth on the shells grew at a rate of 0.1 to 0.5 mm wk-1 for about 2 wk. The adults continued to grow at a similar rate for an additional 3 to 6 wk, and ceased detectable growth when some females started spawning egg masses. In the littoral zone on Okinawa Island, snails reproduced throughout the year. Egg masses brooded by three females (shell length 17.4 to 21.3 mm) in the field contained 90 000 to 133 000 ova. In the laboratory, brooding periods of three females lasted 6,8, and 9 d. The estimated average frequency of spawning was 5 egg masses female-1 yr-1. The mean shell length of adult females (20.3 mm) was significantly larger than that of adult males (19.6 mm). The life-history strategy of C. annulus is characterized by rapid growth, high fecundity, and repeated spawning throughout the year.


Littoral Zone Shell Length Maximum Growth Rate Gastropoda Marine Gastropod 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Katoh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Marine SciencesUniversity of the RyukyusNishihara, OkinawaJapan

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