BIOTIC Species Information for Pholas dactylus
Click here to view the MarLIN Key Information Review for Pholas dactylus
Researched byJacqueline Hill Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byDr Eunice Pinn
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeGonochoristic
Developmental mechanismPlanktotrophic
Reproductive SeasonJune to August Reproductive LocationInsufficient information
Reproductive frequencyAnnual episodic Regeneration potential No
Life span11-20 years Age at reproductive maturityInsufficient information
Generation timeInsufficient information FecundityInsufficient information
Egg/propagule sizeInsufficient information Fertilization typeExternal
Larvae/Juveniles
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potentialInsufficient information Larval settlement periodInsufficient information
Duration of larval stageInsufficient information   
Reproduction Preferences Additional Information
  • Acetate peel work with Pholas dactylus indicates that the species has a maximum life span of 14 years (E. Pinn pers. comm.).
  • There is a free swimming veliger larva which attaches by a byssus at settlement, the byssus later being lost (Fish & Fish, 1996).
  • The gonads start to develop in February or March and are fully mature by the beginning of June. The animals are able to spawn all through the summer and usually have released their gametes by the end of August when the temperature of the water is about 19°C. However, in the summer of 1982 all the animals had spawned by the end of July and this early spawning correlated with an earlier than usual increase in temperature (Knight, 1984).
  • Fertilization is thought to be external and no evidence was found by Knight (1984) to support earlier suggestions that brooding occurs in this species.
Reproduction References Fish & Fish, 1996, Knight, 1983,
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