BIOTIC Species Information for Ensis ensis
Researched byJacqueline Hill Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeGonochoristic
Developmental mechanismPlanktotrophic
Reproductive SeasonSummer Reproductive LocationInsufficient information
Reproductive frequencyAnnual episodic Regeneration potential No
Life span11-20 years Age at reproductive maturity3-5 years
Generation timeInsufficient information FecundityInsufficient information
Egg/propagule sizeInsufficient information Fertilization typeInsufficient information
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potentialInsufficient information Larval settlement periodInsufficient information
Duration of larval stage1-2 months   
Reproduction Preferences Additional InformationLife span
The life span of Ensis ensis is likely to be in excess of 10 years. The other two British species Ensis siliqua and Ensis arcuatus are also very long-lived, with a life-span up to 18 years (E. Fahy pers. comm.).

Razor shells in Britain do not appear to breed before they are three years old (Henderson & Richardson, 1994). Breeding occurs during the summer but larval settlement is not successful every year, and recruitment of juveniles is irregular (Hayward et al., 1996). Breeding probably occurs during spring and the veliger larvae has a pelagic life of about a month (Fish & Fish, 1996). Studies on razor shells from North Wales showed that individuals of Ensis ensis were mature in July but were spent in August, indicating that spawning had occurred by the middle of the summer (Henderson & Richardson, 1994).
Reproduction References
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