, Volume 125, Issue 3, pp 157–173 | Cite as

Reproduction and sperm structure in Galeommatidae (Bivalvia, Galeommatoidea)

Original Article


Reproduction and/or sperm structure was studied in 18 species belonging to five genera of Galeommatidae from Phuket Island, Andaman Sea, Thailand, and Hong Kong. Incubation of the ova occurs in the inner and outer demibranchs of both gills, and sperm is most probably transferred to the ctenidial brood chamber as masses of agglutinated and non-encapsulated spermatozoa. The smallest specimens are males, but change into the female sex and there is a strong indication that some of the species are alternate hermaphrodites. Dwarf males occur in one species (Galeomma layardi). The sperm of all 18 species studied are of the ent-aquasperm type with a more or less hemispherical acrosome that is tilted with respect to the long axis of the moderately elongated nucleus. It is suggested that this type of sperm affords the best autapomorphy for the family Galeommatidae.


Ephippodonta Galeomma Pseudogaleomma Scintilla Scintillona Hermaphroditism Sperm ultrastructure 


  1. Arakawa KY (1960) Some ecological accounts on Scintilla vitrea (Quoy &Gaimard). Venus 21:61–66Google Scholar
  2. Barnard KH (1963) Two new genera of Erycinacea (Bivalvia) from South Africa. Proc Malacol Soc Lond 36:33–37Google Scholar
  3. Bernard F (1896) Scioberetia australis, type nouveau des lamellibranches. Bull Scientifiques France Belgique 27:364–395Google Scholar
  4. Bieler R, Mikkelsen PM (1992) Preliminary phylogenetic analysis of the bivalve family Galeommatidae. Am Malacol Bull 9:157–164Google Scholar
  5. Bouchet P, Lozouet P, Maestrati P, Heros V (2002) Assessing the magnitude of species richness in tropical marine environments: exceptionally high numbers of molluscs at a New Caledonia site. Biol J Linn Soc Lond 75:421–426CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Coan EV, Valentich Scott P, Bernard FR (2000) Bivalve Seashells of Western North America. Marine Bivalve Mollusks from Arctic Alaska to Baja California. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Monographs Number 2, Studies in Biodiversity Number 2: I-vi +1–764Google Scholar
  7. Coe WR (1943) Sexual differentiation in Mollusks I. Pelecypods. Q Rev Biol 18:154–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Eckelbarger KJ, Bieler R, Mikkelsen P (1990) Ultrastructure of sperm development and mature sperm morphology in three species of commensal bivalves (Mollusca: Galeommatoidea). J Morphol 205:63–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gofas S (1991) The family Galeommatidae (Bivalvia: Leptonacea) in the eastern atlantic. Veliger 34:344–353Google Scholar
  10. Healy JM (1995) Comparative spermatozoal ultrastructure and its taxonomic and phylogenetic significance in the bivalve order Veneroida. In: Jamieson BGM, Ausio J, Justine J-L (eds) Advances in spermatozoal phylogeny and taxonomy. Mémoires Museum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris 166:155–166Google Scholar
  11. Jespersen Å, Lützen J, Morton B (2002) Ultrastructure of dimorphic sperm and seminal receptacle in the hermaphrodites Barrimysia siphonosomae and Pseudopythina ochetostomae (Bivalvia, Galeommmatoidea). Zoomorphology 121:159–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jespersen Å, Lützen J, Nielsen C (2004) On three species and two new genera (Montacutella and Brachiomya) of galeommatoid bivalves from the irregular sea urchin Brissus latecarinatus with emphasis on their reproduction. Zool Anz 243:3–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lebour MV (1938) Notes on the breeding of some lamellibranchs from Plymouth and their larvae. J Mar Biolog Assoc UK 23:119–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lützen J, Nielsen C (2005) Galeommatid bivalves from Phuket, Thailand. Zool J Linn Soc 144:261–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mikkelsen PM, Bieler R (1989) Biology and comparative anatomy of Divariscintilla yoyo and D. troglodytes, two new species of Galeommatidae (Bivalvia) from stomatopod burrows in eastern Florida. Malacologia 31:175–195Google Scholar
  16. Mikkelsen PM, Bieler R (1992) Biology and comparative anatomy of three new species of Commensal Galeommatidae, with a possible case of mating behavior in bivalves. Malacologia 34:1–24Google Scholar
  17. Mittre H (1847) Notice sur l’organisation des Galeomma. Annales des Sciences Naturelle, Zoologie (Sér. 3) 7:169–181Google Scholar
  18. Morton B (1973) The biology and functional morphology of Galeomma (Paralepida) takii (Bivalvia: Leptonacea). J Zool, Lond 169:133–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Morton B (1976) Secondary brooding of temporary dwarf males in Ephippodonta (Ephippodontina) oedipus sp. nov. (Bivalvia: Leptonacea). J Conchol 29:31–39Google Scholar
  20. Morton B (1979) The biology, functional morphology and taxonomic status of Gaimardia (Neogaimardia) finlayi (Bivalvia: Gaimardiidae). J Zool (Lond) 188:123–142Google Scholar
  21. Morton B (1981) The biology and functional morphology of Chlamydoconcha orcutti with a discussion on the taxanomic status of the Chlamydoconchacea (Mollusca: Bivalvia). J Zool (Lond) 195:81–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ó Foighil D (1985a) Form, function, and origin of temporary dwarf males in Pseudopythina rugifera (Carpenter, 1864) (Bivalvia: Galeommtacea). Veliger 27:245–252Google Scholar
  23. Ó Foighil D (1985b) Fine structure of Lasaea subviridis and Mysella tumida sperm (Bivalvia, Galeommatacea). Zoomorphology 105:125–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ó Foighil D, Gibson A (1984) The morphology, reproduction and ecology of the commensal bivalve Scintillona bellerophon spec. nov. (Galeommatacea). Veliger 27:72–80Google Scholar
  25. Pauley G (2003) Marine Bivalvia (Mollusca) from Guam. Micronesia 35–36:218–243Google Scholar
  26. Pelseneer P (1911) Les ulamellibranches d l’éxpedition du Siboga. Partie Anatomique. Siboga-Expeditie, Monographie 53a:1–125Google Scholar
  27. Popham ML (1939) On Phlyctaenachlamys lysiosquilla gen. and sp. nov., a lamellibranch commensal in the burrows of Lysiosquilla maculata. Sci Rep Gt Barrier Reef Exped 6:61–84Google Scholar
  28. Rouse GW, Jamieson BGM (1987) An ultrastructural study of the spermatozoa of the polychaetes Eurythoe complanata (Amphinomidae), Clymenella sp. and Micromaldane sp. (Maldanidae), with definition of sperm types in relation to reproductive biology. J Submicrosc Cytol 19:573–584Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cell Biology and Comparative Zoology, Biological InstituteUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen ØDenmark

Personalised recommendations