Molluscan ResearchISSN 1323-5818
 An international journal of the Malacological Society of Australasia and 
the Society for the Study of Molluscan Diversity published by Magnolia Press

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Molluscan Research 31(1): 30-36; published 21 Apr. 2011
Copyright © The Malacological Society of Australasia & the Society for the Study of Molluscan Diversity

Sexual development, sex ratio and morphometrics of Pteria penguin (Bivalvia: Pteriidae), in north-eastern Australia


1Pearl Oyster Research Group, School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Qld 4811, Australia

2Centro de Investigaciones Biologicas del Noreste, S.C., La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico

*Corresponding author—Email:


Pteria penguin were collected at Orpheus Island, north-eastern Queensland to observe sexual development, sex ratio and changes in morphometric relationships during growth. P. penguin are protandrous hermaphrodites, with all sexually mature oysters below 88.8 mm dorso-ventral height (DVH) being males. Evidence of male primary gonad development was seen in oysters with a DVH of ≥33.9 mm. Sexual maturity of males was first seen in oysters at ≥56.0 mm DVH, but was common in oysters at ≥70.0 mm DVH. Mean female size was 150.1 (±3.6) mm DVH, and mean male size was 111.3 (±2.2) mm DVH. In oysters <170 mm DVH, males outnumbered females. The female to male sex ratio in the population tended towards 1:1 with increasing size. Female to male sex ratio of oysters between 170-180 mm DVH was 1:1, and females outnumbered males in oysters >180 mm DVH. Significant linear correlations were found between anterior-posterior length of the shell (APL) and DVH (r2 = 0.97, p <0.001) and between shell thickness (ST) and DVH (r2 = 0.95, p <0.001), and a curvilinear relationship was recorded between adductor muscle weight (AW) and DVH (r2 = 0.93, p <0.001). These findings have industry applications for collection of juvenile stock, spawning induction procedures and determining optimal shell size for pearl nucleus implanting.

Key words: pearl oyster, shell dimensions, gonad development, Queensland.

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