Marine Biology

, Volume 57, Issue 1, pp 35–39 | Cite as

Advanced age for sexual maturity in the ocean quahog Arctica islandica (Mollusca: Bivalvia)

  • I. Thompson
  • D. S. Jones
  • J. W. Ropes


A study of gonadal state in 39 small specimens of Arctica islandica Linné collected in April 1976 from the Middle Atlantic shelf of North America suggests that sexual maturity is reached at a later age than has been reported for other shelf bivalves. Eight of the specimens had gonads in the undifferentiated state. On the basis of annual internal growth banding in the shells of these immature specimens, age ranged between 4 and 14 years. Average age was 9.38 years (standard deviation, s,= 3.54). Shell length ranged from 24 to 47 mm (average 38.85 mm, s=9.25). Differentiated gonads were found in specimens as young as 6 years. Age of maturity shows a wide range and may be dependent upon growth rate and locality.


Standard Deviation Growth Rate North America Bivalve Sexual Maturity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Thompson
    • 1
  • D. S. Jones
    • 1
  • J. W. Ropes
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Geological and Geophysical SciencesPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA
  2. 2.Northeast Fisheries CenterU.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries ServiceWoods HoleUSA

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