BIOTIC Species Information for Ostrea edulis
Researched byAngus Jackson Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeProtandrous hermaphrodite
Developmental mechanismPlanktotrophic
Reproductive SeasonJune to September Reproductive LocationAs adult
Reproductive frequencyAnnual protracted Regeneration potential No
Life span6-10 years Age at reproductive maturity3-5 years
Generation timeInsufficient information FecundityUp to 2,000,000 in large females
Egg/propagule sizeca 150 µm diameter Fertilization typeInternal
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potential>10km Larval settlement periodInsufficient information
Duration of larval stage11-30 days   
Reproduction Preferences Additional InformationA life span of 5-10 years is probably typical (majority of individuals in populations are 2-6 years old). However, they may reach in excess of 15 years old. Oysters are protandrous alternating hermaphrodites. This means that they start off as males producing sperm then switch to egg producing females, back to males and so on. Gamete maturation begins in March or April and is in part temperature dependent. Gametogenesis may be continuous in warmer conditions e.g. California. On the west coast of Ireland there is at least one spawning in each sexual phase during the summer. There may be some periodicity in spawning with peaks during full moon periods. Fecundity may be as high as 2,000,000 in large individuals. The eggs are around 150 microns in diameter. Eggs produced during the female stage are held in the gills and mantle cavity. The eggs are fertilized by sperm drawn in by the inhalant water flow used for feeding and respiration. The fertilized eggs are retained for 7-10 days for the early development until the veliger stage is reached. This is sometime called larviparous or incubatory development.
Reproduction References Lilley, 2000, Dare, 1982, Orton, 1936, Wilson & Simons, 1985, Yonge, 1960, Korringa, 1952,
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