BIOTIC Species Information for Arctica islandica
|Researched by||Lizzie Tyler||Data supplied by||University of Sheffield|
|Refereed by||This information is not refereed.|
|Scientific name||Arctica islandica||Common name||Icelandic cyprine|
|MCS Code||W2072||Recent Synonyms||None|
|Additional Information||No text entered|
|Taxonomy References||Howson & Picton, 1997, Hayward et al., 1996, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Tebble, 1976, Fish & Fish, 1996,|
||Feeding method||Passive suspension feeder
Active suspension feeder
Surface deposit feeder
Sub-surface deposit feeder
|Typical food types||Phytoplankton||Habit||Burrow dwelling|
|Bioturbator||Flexibility||None (< 10 degrees)|
|Height||Insufficient information||Growth Rate||Average 0-1.5 mm / year (Whitsand Bay)|
|Adult dispersal potential||100-1000m||Dependency||Independent|
|General Biology Additional Information||Growth
The growth rate of Arctica islandica is very slow and highly variable. Internal growth bands visible in cross-sections of the valves and hinge plates of Arctica islandica are deposited annually, possibly in response to the reproductive cycle of Arctica islandica (Thompson et al., 1980a). The presence of these annual growth rings on the shell of Arctica islandica allows individuals to be aged. The following ages have been recorded:
Biomass / Production
Arctica islandica has only short siphons and siphonal contact with the water cannot be maintained when they burrow several centimetres beneath the sea bed. When this occurs they are able to respire anaerobically. No obvious rhythmic pattern has been detected but these periods of inactivity can last up to 10 days (Taylor, 1976). The heart rate of Arctica islandica after long periods of shell closure usually takes over 20 hours to return to normal (in Mytilus edulis this is accomplished in a few minutes). This behaviour in Arctica islandica is apparently self induced (Oeschger, 1990) since no stimulus that initiates either burrowing or a return to the surface has been identified. It was suggested that this behaviour is a likely response to hypoxic conditions however, previous studies showed that Arctica islandica was readily able to deal with hypoxic conditions. Other suggestions for this self induced burrowing behaviour included saving energy and a reduction in the risk of predation, as Arctica islandica would be less accessible to potential predators such as large starfish. However, more knowledge of their ecology is required (Taylor, 1976).
|Biology References||Fish & Fish, 1996, Rees & Dare, 1993, Taylor, 1976, Cargnelli et al., 1999a, Ropes & Murawski, 1983, Thompson et al., 1980b, Witbaard & Bergman, 2003, Thompson et al., 1980a, Thorarinsdóttir, 1999, Oeschger, 1990, Lauckner, 1983, Hayward & Ryland, 1990, Julie Bremner, unpub data,|
|Distribution and Habitat|
|Distribution in Britain & Ireland||The Icelandic cyprine is found around all British and Irish coasts and offshore.|
|Global distribution||Recorded from Iceland, the Faeroe Islands, Onega Bay in the White Sea to the Bay of Biscay and from Labrador to North Carolina.|
|Biogeographic range||Not researched||Depth range||4 - 256 m|
|Distribution Additional Information||Arctica islandica is distributed within the North Sea north of 53° 30`N and along the southern and eastern borders of its range is limited to depths below 30 m (Witbaard & Bergman, 2003). Similarly, the optimal temperature for Arctica islandica was estimated to be 6-16°C, while the inshore limit of their distribution in the eastern USA was reported to be the 16°C bottom isotherm (Cargnelli et al., 1999a). Nicol (1951; cited in Holmes et al., 2003) stated that Arctica islandica occurs at depths ranging from 4-482 m, although it is commonly found between 10-280 m.|
|Substratum preferences||Fine clean sand
Coarse clean sand
|Physiographic preferences||Offshore seabed
|Biological zone||Sublittoral Fringe
|Wave exposure||Extremely Exposed
|Tidal stream strength/Water flow||Insufficient information
||Salinity||Variable (18-40 psu)
Full (30-40 psu)
|Habitat Preferences Additional Information|
|Distribution References||Hayward et al., 1996, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Tebble, 1976, Fish & Fish, 1996, NBN, 2002, JNCC, 1999, Picton & Costello, 1998, Rees & Dare, 1993, Cargnelli et al., 1999a, Witbaard & Bergman, 2003, Holmes et al., 2003, Merrill et al., 1969, Hayward & Ryland, 1990, Julie Bremner, unpub data, Rees & Dare, 1993,|
|Reproductive Season||June to October||Reproductive Location||Water column|
|Reproductive frequency||Annual episodic||Regeneration potential||No|
|Life span||100+ years||Age at reproductive maturity||11-20 years|
|Generation time||11-20 years||Fecundity|
|Egg/propagule size||85 µm diameter||Fertilization type||External|
|Reproduction Preferences Additional Information||
Sexual maturity is reached in Arctica islandica at a later age than has been reported for other bivalves. The age at sexual maturity in Arctica islandica was reported to vary between 5 and 11 years and may be dependent upon growth rate and locality (Thorarinsdóttir, 1999) . The mean age of sexual maturity in Nova Scotia was estimated to be 13.1 years for males and 12.5 years for females (Rowell et al. 1990; cited in Cargnelli et al., 1999a). However, Thompson et al. (1980b) reported immature individuals ranging in age from 4 -14 yr., at shell lengths ranging from 2.4 - 4.7 cm. It was suggested that immature Arctica islandica physiologically mimic the reproductive cycle of adults without providing gametes but very little research has been done on annual cycles of reproduction in juveniles (Thompson et al., 1980b).
Thorarinsdóttir (2000) examined the gametogenic cycle of Arctica islandica from Iceland and suggests that there are five phases in Arctica islandica's gametogenic cycle (Thorarinsdóttir, 2000).
SpawningSpawning is protracted. Loosanoff (1953) reported spawning off Rhode Island between late June or early July when water temperatures reach 13.3 °C, although not all individuals reach ripeness at the same time. The majority of individuals completed spawning by early October. The optimum salinity range for the existence and reproduction of Arctica islandica is between 31.0 - 32.8 ppt (Loosanoff, 1953). However, the spawning period varies with location, for example another study reported spawning between May to November off Rhode Island, while spawning was reported to occur between September and November, and sometimes persisting into January off New Jersey, and between July to September off Nova Scotia (see Cargnelli et al., 1999a). Comparable data for northwest European populations is scarce. Attempts to ripen specimens of Arctica islandica out of season in the laboratory have had no or very limited success (Loosanoff, 1953; Landers, 1976). The average size of a fertilized egg is 75-95 µm (Loosanoff, 1953; Lutz et al., 1982).
Larval Settling Time
The settlement of larvae may occur over several months and is believed to occur throughout the adult distribution ranges.
The recruitment of this bivalve is considered as very sporadic (Thorarinsdóttir, 1999). Age frequency distributions from a population in Iceland showed recruitment increased at approximately 20 year intervals. A population of the Atlantic coast of the United States did not show any sign of recruitment over a 10 year period (Thorarinsdóttir, 1999).
Arctica islandica is exceptionally long lived. Growth is relatively fast during the juvenile stage and then slows down (Cargnelli et al., 1999a). Counts of internal growth lines suggested ages of 200 years for individuals living on the U.S. Atlantic coast (Ropes, 1985)
|Reproduction References||Loosanoff, 1953, Rees & Dare, 1993, Thorarinsdóttir, 2000, Cargnelli et al., 1999a, Thompson et al., 1980b, Thompson et al., 1980a, Thorarinsdóttir, 1999, Landers, 1976, Ropes, 1985, Eckert, 2003, Julie Bremner, unpub data, Rees & Dare, 1993, Kilada, 2007,|