Imposex in Thais Clavigera (Neogastropoda) As an Indicator of Tbt (Tributyltin) Bioavailability in Coastal Waters of Hong Kong

  • Blackmore G
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Abstract

The degree of imposex (the imposition of male characteristics onto
females) exhibited by females of Thais clavigera, collected during
August 1996, was assessed using the Relative Penis Size Index (RPSI)
and the Vas Deferens development sequence (VDS), to ascertain the
extent of TBT (tributyltin) bioavailability in Hong KongUs coastal
waters. All sites showed some degree of imposex development. The most
affected areas were Victoria Harbour and Aberdeen where up to 92% of
females were effectively sterilised by the development of a vas
deferens, thereby, blocking the oviduct (VDS scores of 4-6 and RPSI of
32-41%). There is some evidence of this affecting the population
structure of T. clavigera, i.e., a dominance of males in affected
populations. A Tolo Harbour site, at Starfish Bay, remote from major
shipping routes was the least affected having an 88% incidence of
imposex (VDS scores of 0-2 and RPSI of > 0.1%).

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Authors

  • Graham Blackmore

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