Aspects of reproduction of the brown mussel Perna perna at the Iture rocky beach near Cape Coast, Ghana
Aspects of the reproductive biology of the brown mussel Perna perna at the Iture rocky beach near Cape Coast, Ghana, were studied from September 2014 to August 2015. The current study was aimed at providing information useful for managing the mussel fishery in this locality and also that would form the basis for designing appropriate culture methods for the species. Microscopic examination of fresh smears of gonadal material, as well as histological preparations of the gonad, were used to study the sexuality and breeding pattern of the species. Monthly gonadal and condition indices were also determined. Perna perna exhibited gonochoristic sexuality with a sex ratio of approximately 1:1 throughout the study period. Sexes were identifiable at shell lengths of 15.0–19.9 mm. Five stages of gonadal development were identified in both sexes. Gametogenic activity was continuous throughout the year, with two major spawning activities, from April to June and from August to December. These periods coincided with the major and minor rainy seasons, respectively, as well as the major upwelling period in August. Condition indices suggest that the mussels were in better condition for harvesting in March and August prior to the major spawning events.
Keywords: condition index, gonad, histology, sexuality, spawning