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Aspects of the Reproductive Activity of Cypraea caputdraconis from Easter Island (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Cypraeidae)

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Title:Aspects of the Reproductive Activity of Cypraea caputdraconis from Easter Island (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Cypraeidae)
Authors:Osorio, Cecilia
Brown, Donald
Donoso, Ligia
Atan, Hugo
Date Issued:Jan 1999
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Citation:Osorio C, Brown D, Donoso L, Atan H. 1999. Aspects of the reproductive activity of Cypraea caputdraconis from Easter Island (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Cypraeidae). Pac Sci 53(1): 15-23.
Abstract:Cypraea caputdraconis Melvill, 1888 (commonly known as pure),
endemic to Easter Island, is an important mollusk in Easter Island handicrafts.
Knowledge about its reproduction is necessary for sustainable management of
this resource. Data presented here are from 14 monthly samples taken between
1989 and 1991. As in other species of the genus, C. caputdraconis populations
sampled at Easter Island had a higher proportion of females (60.28%) than
males. Females averaged slightly larger than males, but there was a large degree
of size overlap between the sexes and lengths were not significantly different.
Reproductive activity occurs year-round, as evidenced by the presence of all
three gonadal stages at every sampling date, suggesting a reproductive cycle
with continuous gametogenic activity, either lacking or with a very brief period
of gonadal rest. Egg mass surveys indicate agreement between egg mass presence
and gonadal maturity. Egg masses were recorded throughout the year.
A decrease in the percentage of animals with egg capsules corresponded to
a decrease in water temperature toward winter. Observations on behavioral
sex expression in relation to brooding clearly point to the female as incubator,
although in one instance a male was observed on the egg mass. The reproductive
activity of the Easter Island pure may be tentatively characterized by a
continuous reproductive cycle, with increased activity during spring and summer.
We recommend closing this fishery during the period of peak reproductive
activity to prevent overexploitation.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 53, Number 1, 1999

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