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Appraisal of the usefulness of operculum growth marks for ageing Hexaplex trunculus (Gastropoda: Muricidae): Comparison between surface striae and adventitious layers
Vasconcelos, P.; Gharsallah, I.H.; Moura, P.; Zamouri-Langar, N.; Gaamour, A.; Missaoui, H.; Jarboui, O.; Gaspar, M.B. (2012). Appraisal of the usefulness of operculum growth marks for ageing Hexaplex trunculus (Gastropoda: Muricidae): Comparison between surface striae and adventitious layers. Mar. Biol. Res. 8(2): 141-153

dx.doi.ogr/10.1080/17451000.2011.616896
In: Marine Biology Research. Taylor & Francis: Oslo. ISSN 1745-1000, more
Peer reviewed article

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Keywords
    Age; Estimation; Gastropoda [WoRMS]; Hexaplex trunculus (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; Mollusca [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Vasconcelos, P.
  • Gharsallah, I.H.
  • Moura, P.
  • Zamouri-Langar, N.
  • Gaamour, A.
  • Missaoui, H.
  • Jarboui, O.
  • Gaspar, M.B.

Abstract
    This study estimated the age of Hexaplex trunculus (Gastropoda: Muricidae) by analysing operculum growth marks. Surface striae and adventitious layers were counted in opercula of H. trunculus from the Ria Formosa Lagoon (southern Portugal) and from the Bizerte Lagoon (northern Tunisia), and in aquacultured individuals used for validation of the ageing technique. Operculum growth features were also compared between H. trunculus populations under contrasting environmental conditions (namely seawater temperature). Despite high inter-individual variability, all H. trunculus populations displayed a clear increasing trend in the number of striae and layers with increasing specimen size. The operculum marginal growth revealed that opercular deposition is not annual. Instead, a few growth marks are formed in the operculum each year, which was confirmed with reared specimens. In both ageing methods, considerable variation in the number of counts at a determined shell length indicates that operculum growth marks should be interpreted cautiously because they might not correspond accurately with individual age. Because of the subjectivity inherent to either method, counting striae and layers in opercula only provides rough age estimates of H. trunculus.

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