Sexual Maturation and Artificial Spawning of the Hard Clam, Meretrix lusoria (Bivalvia: Veneridae) on the West Coast of Korea
Ee-Yung Chung, Yong-Min Kim, Young Baek Hur and Dong-Ki Ryu
School of Marine Life Science, Kunsan National University, Gunsan 573-701, Korea
Reproductive cycle with the gonadal phases, first sexual maturity, artificial spawning amount by the size and spawning interval of the hard clam, Meretrix lusoria were investigated by histological observations and morphometric data by artificial spawning induction. Meretrix lusoria is dioecious and oviparous. The reproductive cycle of this species can be classified into five successive stages: early active stage (January to March), late active stage (February to May), ripe stage (April to August), partially spawned stage (June to September), and spent/inactive stage (September to February). The spawning period was from June to September, and the main spawning occurred between July and August when the seawater temperature exceeds over 20℃. Percentage of first sexual maturity of female and male clams ranging from 40.0 to 45.0 mm in shell length was over 50%, and all clams over 50.0 mm in shell length sexually matured. Female and male clams ranging from 40.0 to 45.0 mm in shell length are considered to be two years old. Therefore, we assume that the hard clams of both sexes begin reproduction from two years of age. The mean number of the spawned eggs increased with the increase of size (shell length) classes. In case of artificial spawning induction, the number of spawned eggs from the clams of a sized class was gradually decreased with the increase of the number of the spawning frequencies (the first, second, and third spawnings). In the experiments of artificial spawning induction during the spawning season, the interval of each spawning was estimated to be 15-18 days (average 17 days).
  
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