Reproductive cycle and seasonal feeding activity of the neogastropod Buccinum undatum

  • Martel A
  • Larrivée D
  • Klein K
 et al. 
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Reproductive cycle and seasonal feeding activity of the neogastropod Buccinum undatum A. Martel a,., D. H. Larriv~e 1, K. R. Klein 1., and J. H. Himmelman 2 1 Universit6 du Qutbec/l Chicoutimi; Chicoutimi, Qutbec G7H 2B1, Canada 2 Dtpartement de biologic et GIROQ, Universit6 Laval; Qutbec, Qutbec G1K 7P4, Canada Abstract The whelk Buccinum undatum L. in the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence has a distinct annual reproductive cycle. The ovary and pallial oviduct of the female, and the seminal vesicle of the male, show parallel development, whereas the testis has an inverse cycle. Thus, at the end of winter when the ovary, pallial oviduct and seminal vesicle reach maximal size, the testis is small and undeveloped, whereas the reverse situation occurs in summer. This is the first report of a totally inverse relationship between the ovary and testis for'a marine invertebrate. This unusual pattern is due to the long-term storage of sperm in the seminal vesicle of the male prior to copulation. There is no resting period at the end of oogenesis, but rather renewed ovarian development starts shortly after gamete release. By con- trast, in the testis after transfer of sperm to the seminal vesicle at the end of spermatogenesis, there is a distinct period ofphagocytosis. Mating begins in mid-May, reaches a peak during June and terminates prior to July. Egg laying begins in late May, reaches a peak in mid-June to mid-July and can continue until late August. Examination of the incidence of individuals with food in their stomachs showed that feeding activity is maximal in late autumn through to early spring and decreases sharply coincident with the onset of breeding in late May. Introduction

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  • A. Martel

  • D. H. Larrivée

  • K. R. Klein

  • J. H. Himmelman

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