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Reproductive cycles of four species of Patella (Mollusca: Gastropoda) on the northern and central Portuguese coast

  • Pedro A. Ribeiro (a1) (a2) (a3), Raquel Xavier (a1), António M. Santos (a1) (a4) and Stephen J. Hawkins (a2) (a3) (a5)

The reproductive cycles of four limpet species, Patella depressa, Patella ulyssiponensis, Patella vulgata and Patella rustica are described for several locations in northern and central Portugal. Patella depressa and P. ulyssiponensis displayed almost continual gonad activity, with two main spawning periods, September–January and March–June, and minor spawning events dispersed throughout the year. Patella vulgata and P. rustica exhibited highly synchronized reproductive cycles, with well-defined breeding and resting periods. Gonad development in P. vulgata started in September and spawning took place from November–December to March. In P. rustica development started in June and spawning occurred from September–October to December–January. Compared to the 1980s these results suggest that breeding periods are becoming longer in southern species and shorter in northern species.

Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: P.A. Ribeiro, CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Campus Agrário de Vairão, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal email:
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Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
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