Marine Biology

, Volume 95, Issue 2, pp 237–242 | Cite as

Temporal patterns of shell-gape in Mytilus edulis

  • C. Ameyaw-Akumfi
  • E. Naylor


Hitherto published evidence of the presence or absence of endogenous “activity” rhythms in bivalve molluscs is equivocal. Mytilus edulis L. were collected from a North Wales (UK) estuary in 1985, and shell-gaping was investigated in individual mussels under constant conditions in the laboratory. Results suggest that there is no endogenous circatidal rhythm of shell-gaping in this species, This is consistent with the view that, unlike mobile species, sessile intertidal species are much more likely to exhibit exogenous rather than endogenous responses to tidal fluctuations. There is some evidence of weak circadian rhythmicity of shell-gaping in M. edulis, with greater duration of shell-closure during hours of expected daylight. Such behaviour could represent an adaptational defence against visually-feeding predators.


Bivalve Circadian Rhythmicity Temporal Pattern Constant Condition Mytilus Edulis 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Ameyaw-Akumfi
    • 1
  • E. Naylor
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Animal BiologyUniversity College of North WalesBangorUK

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