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Reproductive Cycle of Pollicipes Pollicipes at Cabo De Sines, South-West Coast of Portugal

  • Teresa Cruz (a1) and Stephen J. Hawkins (a2)


The reproductive cycle of the pedunculate barnacle Pollicipes pollicipes from two intertidal levels (mid and low) at Cabo de Sines, south-west coast of Portugal has been described. Pollicipes pollicipes larger than 12.5 mm (rostrocarinal distance, RC) are simultaneous hermaphrodites. Minimum size for maturity of the female gonad was 12.5 mm (RC) whilst sperm production is achieved at a smaller size (10 mm). The breeding season was from April to September. Reproductive activity was similar at both tidal levels and was significantly correlated with seawater temperature. Brooding activity was most pronounced in late spring and summer when seawater temperature ranged from 18 to 21°C. Throughout the year, sperm was stored in the seminal vesicles, although the testes regressed from October–December. The female gonad was resting in October–January and active during March–September. During resting, only a few empty ovarioles were observed. At the beginning and in the middle of the reproductive season (March to August), the ovary was completely disrupted after fertilization and ovary recovery occurred simultaneously with egg development. During the end of the reproductive season (September–October), synchrony was retarded as recovery of the ovary was slower than egg development. The pattern of functioning of the female gonad should allow production of several broods during the season.



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Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
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