Establishment of shell growth analysis technique of juvenile Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum: semidiurnal shell increment formation


*Tel: 81-46-856-2887.
Fax: 81-46-857-3075. Email:


ABSTRACT:  The conventional acetate peel method was modified to analyze the shell growth pattern of juvenile Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum as small as 2 mm in shell length (SL). In the outer shell layer along the axis of maximum growth, two types of growth increments were observed: distinct increments and indistinct increments, which, respectively, do and do not continue to the middle shell layer. The distinct increments were found to be formed every two days in intertidal and shallow subtidal zones by field enclosure experiments of juveniles with datum points marked with alizarin complexone. Growth patterns of juveniles (12 mm SL) collected from the Seaside Park of Yokohama in Tokyo Bay were analyzed to confirm the modified method. Mean daily shell growth rate from April to July 2005 ranged 120–142 μm/day, which was reasonable as compared with previous studies. It was impossible to backcalculate the growth to the settlement size (i.e. 0.2 mm SL) because of erosion of the outer shell surface, and the smallest backcalculated minimum shell length was 0.8 mm. Fluctuations in daily growth rate were high, ranging 29–315 μm/day, and did not show a clear two-weekly rhythm.