Freshwater mussels have decreased dramatically in Iberia over the last decades. These animals are responsible for important ecosystem services such as recycling nutrients and improving water clarity. Under this view a better knowledge on the biological features of these animals is extremely important for future conservation and management actions. In this study the reproductive and gametogenic cycle of Anodonta anatina were studied during 2 years in one population as well as the sex ratio and hermaphroditism in six distinct populations, using standard histology. Gametogenesis was continuous in both sexes and germinal epithelium in early stages of development. Gametes were present throughout the reproductive cycle. Oogenesis and spermatogenesis occurred mainly between January and May. Larvae brooding occurred between September and March and main glochidia discharge occurred over a short period (2–3 weeks) in March. For the sex-ratio and hermaphroditism assessments a variable number of individuals were collected from several populations from lakes and rivers. Previous studies described A. anatina as mainly dioecious with only a few populations presenting occasional hermaphroditism. However, the present study indicates that A. anatina sexual behavior is influenced by environmental conditions, being mainly dioecious in rivers with increased hermaphroditism in standing waters. Although self-fertilization was not confirmed, additional studies with molecular characterization of larvae using fast evolving markers should be used in future studies to enlighten this process. Overall, this study indicates that for more efficient conservation actions and management plans, freshwater mussel reproductive biology should be studied at the population level mainly in the subfamily Anodontinae. J. Exp. Zool. 319A: 378–390, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.