MORPHOMETRIC ANALYSES OF A PINCTADA RADIATA (LEACH, 1814) (BIVALVIA: PTERIIDAE) POPULATION IN THE MALTESE ISLANDS

Morphometric analyses of a Pinctada radiata (Leach, 1814) (Bivalvia: Pteriidae) population in the Maltese Islands

Alan Deidun, Fabrizio Gianni, David P Cilia, Alice Lodola, Dario Savini

IOI-MOC – Malta Operational Centre, Room 315, Chemistry Building 3rd Floor, University of Malta, Msida, MALTA MSD 2080
Faculte´ des Sciences, Universite´ de Nice, EA 4228, ECOMERS, 06108 Nice cedex 2, FRANCE
St Paul’s Missionary College, Emanuele Vitale Street, Rabat, RBT 2020, MALTA
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra e dell’Ambiente, Università di Pavia, Pavia, ITALY
Associazione FOR-MARE, Pavia, ITALY

Abstract

Five biometric parameters (shell height, shell length, nacreous height, nacreous width and hinge length) were measured for two populations of Pinctada radiata (Leach, 1814) within shallow coastal waters of the Maltese Islands, in the central Mediterranean Sea, as part of a demographic study of the species. In terms of shell height, both populations consisted mainly of small to moderate individuals. Regression analyses between these parameters were carried out, resulting in moderate to high correlations between all parameters except for hinge length. The study represents the first attempt at morphometric characterization of populations of a non-indigenous bivalve in Maltese coastal waters.

Keywords: Central Mediterranean, Pinctada radiata, non-indigenous bivalve, biometric

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