Role of temperature in the reproductive cycle of Thais chocolata (Gastropoda, Muricidae) in Chanavaya, Tarapacá, Chile
Role of temperature in the reproductive cycle of Thais chocolata (Gastropoda, Muricidae) in Chanavaya, Tarapacá region, Chile.
The reproductive condition of Thais chocolata (copulative aggregation establishment, clutch laying in capsules and specimen density), was studied monthly between February 2009 and January 2010, in the locality of Chanavaya (Tarapacá, Chile). Results showed that the specimens are mainly distributed in aggregations, and that their gonad development is asynchronous with the presence of mature females being registered during the entire year. Reproductive aggregations were found in the shallow stratus from late January to August 2009 and reappearing in January 2010. However, the larger ones (which sustained extraction) occurred during June-July and January. An increase in specimen density in the 5 to 17 m stratum was registered in May-August and December-January, coinciding with the periods previous to, during and after the highest aggregation magnitudes registered. The aggregation periods coincided with temperatures over 15ºC, with a lower reproductive activity associated to a decrease in temperature. We state that abrupt temperature changes occurring in short time periods could cause mature specimen to move, increasing their density in shallow waters for reproductive purposes. We suggest increasing protection for the resource during the reproductive aggregation processes given that extraction leaves the clutches unprotected and prone to predation from other organisms.