Site selection and attachment duration of Anodonta woodiana (Bivalvia: Unionacea) glochidia on fish hosts



The relationship between parasitic glochidia of Anodonia woodiana (Unionidae: Anodonti-nae) and potential fish hosts was investigated in the laboratory. Intensity of parasitism was highest on the exotic fish Gambusia affinis, lower on the native species Puntius semijascio-latus and Metzia takakii, and least on Rhodeus sinensis. Glochidia generally attached at fin margins, particularly the pectorals and caudal. In Gambusia affinis, the incidence of glochidia on the pectorals was higher than would be expected on the basis of ratios between fin margin lengths. Apparently, the role of the pectoral fins in locomotion makes them more liable to glochidial contact, thereby increasing their susceptibility to attachment.

The duration of glochidial attachment was shortened as temperatures increased. Mean values ranged from 14-4 days at 15°C to 6 days at 27°C. At 33°C glochidia rapidly detached and metamorphosis was unsuccessful. Significantly, water temperatures in A. woodiana habitats in Hong Kong rarely exceed 30°C.