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Gametogenic cycle of the tropical vermetids Eualetes tulipa and Dendropoma corrodens (Mollusca: Caenogastropoda: Vermetidae)

  • Patricia Miloslavich (a1), Eduardo Klein (a1) and Pablo Penchaszadeh (a2)


The population density, annual gametogenic cycle, and size at sexual maturity of two vermetid species, Eualetes tulipa (invasive) and Dendropoma corrodens was studied in the southern Caribbean at the Planta Centro power plant intake channel and at Punta Mayorquina, Morrocoy National Park, respectively. Minimal size of mature females of E. tulipa and D. corrodens was 5.0 and 0.7 cm in body length respectively. The gonad represented between 44 to 47% of total body length, while it represented between 15 to 18% of total body volume (for both males and females). Gonad volume was significantly related to total body volume. A significant quadratic relationship between the number of capsules and female body volume was obtained for E. tulipa, indicating that females measuring 6–10 cm in body length are those that have the highest number of egg capsules. Females larger than 11 cm have a lower fecundity in terms of brooded capsules. Gonad sections of males and females of both species showed that several gametogenesis stages are simultaneous within the same individual. In the female, germ cells, oogoniums and primary oocytes with yolk granules were observed simultaneously. In the male, the spermatogonium, primary and secondary spermatocytes, spermatids and sperm cells were also observed within one gonad. The same pattern was observed throughout the year, showing no maturation/resting period or annual cycle. The area covered by D. corrodens was about 700 m2 with a mean density of 13,000 ind/m2. The area covered by the invasive E. tulipa was at least about 1000 m2, with a density of 27,000 to 29,000 ind/m2 in the first 3 m of depth. A follow up of the E. tulipa population showed that its density is increasing in time and has doubled in 20 years. This population increment could be related to an increase in organic suspended matter as evidenced in the region.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: P. Miloslavich, Universidad Simón Bolívar, Departamento de Estudios Ambientales, Apartado Postal 89.000, Caracas 1080, Venezuela email:


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Gametogenic cycle of the tropical vermetids Eualetes tulipa and Dendropoma corrodens (Mollusca: Caenogastropoda: Vermetidae)

  • Patricia Miloslavich (a1), Eduardo Klein (a1) and Pablo Penchaszadeh (a2)


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