Marine Biology

, Volume 149, Issue 2, pp 257–267 | Cite as

Evidence of a 2-day periodicity of striae formation in the tropical scallop Comptopallium radula using calcein marking

  • Julien ThébaultEmail author
  • Laurent Chauvaud
  • Jacques Clavier
  • Renaud Fichez
  • Eric Morize
Research Article


The periodicity of striae formation in the tropical scallop Comptopallium radula (Indo-West Pacific Ocean) was investigated with an in situ marking technique, using the calcein fluorochrome. To minimize scallop stress caused by excessive handling, in situ benthic chambers were used for marking experiments. Once marked, scallops (shell height range: 38.4–75.8 mm) remained on site in a large benthic enclosure and were collected at regular time intervals to count new striae formed after marking, over a period of 3 months. A 3-h exposure period with calcein (150 mg l−1) was sufficiently long to create a detectable mark in nearly all shells. It was, however, impossible to count the striae in 48.2% of the shells (mainly large specimens) because of a very small growth after marking. Lack of significant mortality during the experiments indicated that tested calcein concentrations were not lethal. A decrease in shell growth rate was observed after marking but the respective impacts of calcein toxicity and changes in environmental conditions could not be discriminated. Our results suggest that in situ calcein marking inside benthic chambers is suitable for shell growth studies of scallops, provided the latter are not too old. After marking, the juvenile C. radula formed an average of one stria every 2.1 days in summer. Reports of 2-day periodicity in biological rhythms are rare. Striae formation in C. radula may be controlled by an endogenous oscillator, synchronized by an environmental cue acting as a zeitgeber, such as seawater temperature or sea level pressure, both of which exhibit 2-day variations in the Pacific Ocean. As in many other scallop species, C. radula forms striae periodically under natural conditions, but this study shows that in pectinid juveniles, this periodicity can deviate from a daily cycle. These results suggest that C. radula shells have tremendous potential for recording environmental conditions during periods ranging from months to a few years and with a resolution of 2 days.


Calcein Immersion Time Oxygen Isotopic Composition Shell Growth Shell Height 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We are especially grateful to Sandrine Chifflet for help during the preparation of calcein solutions, to Christophe Peignon and Alain Lapetite who performed part of SCUBA diving experimentation and subsequent field survey, and to the technical staff of US Chronos for their valuable help in preparing slides. We are also particularly grateful to Jennifer Guarini for her constructive comments and English corrections of the manuscript. This manuscript benefited from critical reviews by David Goodwin and three anonymous referees. This work was supported by IRD, the Programme National Environnement Côtier (PNEC) and ACI-PECTEN. It was part of a 3-year research program funded by IRD and the Région Bretagne. Contribution No. 978 of the IUEM, European Institute for Marine Studies (Brest, France).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julien Thébault
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Laurent Chauvaud
    • 2
  • Jacques Clavier
    • 2
  • Renaud Fichez
    • 3
  • Eric Morize
    • 4
  1. 1.IRD, Unité de Recherche CaméliaNouméa CedexNew Caledonia
  2. 2.IUEM-UBO, UMR CNRS 6539Technopôle Brest-IroisePlouzanéFrance
  3. 3.Centre d’Océanologie de MarseilleStation Marine d’EndoumeMarseilleFrance
  4. 4.IRD, US ChronosPlouzané CedexFrance

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