Marine Biology

, Volume 157, Issue 10, pp 2229–2240 | Cite as

Gametogenic cycle and size at first maturity of the Patagonic edible snail Buccinanops cochlidium from Argentina

  • Andrés AverbujEmail author
  • Gregorio Bigatti
  • Pablo E. Penchaszadeh
Original Paper


Buccinanops cochlidium is a common edible snail from Argentinean shallow waters, which is being consumed locally in north Patagonia. Nevertheless, there are no policies for their fisheries management. This study provides information about the reproductive cycle and size at first maturity of B. cochlidium from San José Gulf, Argentina. In this species, the testes seemed to develop mature sperm all year round without a resting period although resorption was registered after periods of high evacuation (June–November). The occurrence of parasperm in a nassariid species is reported for the first time in this study. Females showed a clear seasonality, without a resting period, and proliferation of oogonia throughout the year. Evacuation of mature oocytes measuring over 220 μm occurred mainly in October. Oocyte evacuation was associated with minimum seawater temperature and increasing daylength. Males developed a penis of functional size and mature gametes in their testes at 37 mm in shell length (SL) but only began to mate at 65 mm in SL. Females matured at 80 mm in SL, considering gonad maturity, mating behaviour and oviposition altogether. Female SL at first gonadal maturity is close to the male maximum SL. The present results are useful when planning fishery policies aiming to prevent the overexploitation of the resource, if an extensive fishery targeting on this species is developed. In case of this, we propose a fishery based on an artisanal diving collection of individuals over 82 mm in SL, and avoiding to catch gravid females.


Shell Length Spermatogenic Cell Edible Snail Oocyte Diameter Vitellogenic Oocyte 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Oscar Wheeler and Eugenia Zavattieri, and Fabian Quiroga and Ricardo Vera (CENPAT) for collaborating on sample collection. Special thanks to Carlos Sanchez Antelo for histological assistance, and Fabian Tricarico (MACN) and Jaime Groizard (ALUAR S.A.) for SEM assistance. Thanks to Dr. Castro Vázquez, Dr. Ituarte, and Jennifer Antonides for suggestions on an early version of the manuscript. Excellent comments by reviewers and the editor greatly improved the final version of this paper. This research was partially supported by COA Inc., Ministerio de Educación—Pcia. Chubut, UBACyT X-171, PIP 0051, PICT-0323 and PICTR-01869. Authors are members of CONICET. All research work, including sampling and laboratory analysis, comply with current Argentine laws. The field work was conducted in a Protected Natural Area of Chubut Province, with permits from the Secretaría de Turismo y Areas Protegidas (APN).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrés Averbuj
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gregorio Bigatti
    • 1
  • Pablo E. Penchaszadeh
    • 2
  1. 1.LARBIMCentro Nacional Patagónico (CENPAT)–CONICETChubutArgentina
  2. 2.Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales Bernardino RivadaviaCONICETBuenos AiresArgentina

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