Overview

Brief Summary

M .striata (striate piddock) is a widely distributed bivalve found in the tropical and subtropical regions of the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean. It is a marine woodborer, causing extensive damage to wooden structures. It can change sex depending on temperature and is a filter-feeder.

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Distribution

M. striata occurs in the tropical and subtropical Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, from South Carolina to Austraila and Japan. On the Pacific Coast of America it is recorded from Baja California and Sonora, Mexico, to Peru (Keen, 1971: 276). On the Atlantic Coast of America it is found from North Carolina to Florida, Bermuda, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Central America, Venezuela and Brazil (Mikkelsen and Bieler, 2007: 388). M. striata is considered an introduced species in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (Coles et al., 1999: 151), and invasive in the Greater Tampa Bay ecosystem (Baker et al., 2004).

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Physical Description

Morphology

Shell elongated oval, its posterior narrowed with callum (an accessory shell plate closing the anterior gape in adults). It has a circular to arrow-shaped mesoplax (an accessory shell plate), a long, narrow anteriorly pointed metaplax and a hypoplax. Shell finely toothed or notched with commarginal ridges anterior to oblique radial sulcus, and a smooth ridge posterior to the sulcus. Brownish periostracum at margins. Its hypoplax is close to the umbo (Mikkelsen and Bieler, 2007). The shell is yellow-white, thin and is often deformed and wedged. Generally less than 2 inches in length (Olsson, 1961). The shell microstructure comprises two or three layers of aragonite. Outer layer simple homogenous. Middle layer crossed lamellar and inner layer complex crossed lamellar (Mikkelsen and Bieler, 2007). It does not have a lunule (heart or crescent-shaped impressed external feature) or a escutcheon (an oval or spindle-shaped impressed area). It has dorsal and ventral knoblike condyles which serve as fulcrums upon which the valves open during boring processes. A strong internal rib extends dorsally from the ventral condyle which reflects the external radial sulcus. The ligament of M. striata is internal and expanded to the foot, and it sits on a small resilifer (Mikkelsen and Bieler, 2007).

M. striata has a small, fragmented anterior adductor muscle. The anterior adductor muscle is inserted on the reflexed anterior dorsal margin of the shell, dorsal to the hinge line. Posterior adductor muscle forms a single mass inserted at the posterior dorsal margin of the shell (Ansell and Nair, 1968). Also, it has a ventral adductor muscle attached to the ventral condyle. The mantle margins are extensively fused, with the anteroventral pedal opening closed in adults (Mikkelsen and Bieler, 2007). The pallial line (impressed line on the interior of the shell, usually paralleling the ventral margin between the anterior and posterior adductor muscles) is thick, with a broad deep pallial sinus (an embayment in the posterior part of the pallial line). The inner shell margin is smooth, and the hinge plate (the flattened interior dorsal area that bears the hinge teeth and ligament) irregular in shape.

Its burrow is equipped with a tube composed of feces or psuedofeces, cemented with mucus. The tube is fused with the siphonoplax and is known as the siphonal tube. The tip of the siphon is extended to the surface of the wood (Ansell and Nair, 1968).

The foot has a single pair of pedal retractor muscles (Ansell and Nair, 1968). It is short and truncate, terminally sucker-like and has a byssal groove. The foot degenerates in the adult of M. striata. The labial palps (paired lamellae on either side of the mouth, usually with ridged and ciliated opposing surface) are small. The ctenidia (gills, or organ of respiration) are synaptorhabdic (gill type characterized by filaments that are joined together only by tissue junctions), and extend into the siphons far beyond the posterior adductor muscle. Its nervous system is concentrated, with the pedal ganglia close to the cereblopleural ganlia (Mikkelsen and Bieler, 2007).

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Diagnostic Description

M. striata is enclosed in a pear-shaped, fragile shell, which is in turn encased in a permanent burrow (the hole that they bored). Adults may reach up to 50 mm in shell length. The anterior end of the shell has a corduroy-like texture (Baker et al., 2004: 58). There are differences between young and adult shell. The large anterior gape (opening) of the juvenile shell becomes closed in adults. The shell has 3 accessory shell plates, namely a protoplax, a narrow elongated metaplax (between the two valves) and a hypoplax. The species can be distinguished by the shape of its large protoplax. The large protoplax is three-lobed, and it has a halberd-shaped appearance (Johnson, 1904: 100-101).

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Type Information

Holotype for Martesia (Diploplax) funisicola Bartsch & Rehder, 1945
Catalog Number: USNM 573551
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Dry
Locality: West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Florida, United States, North Atlantic Ocean
Microhabitat: from section of electric power cable
  • Holotype: Smithson. Misc. Collns. 104(11): 10,14, pl. 3, fig. 1,2,13,14.
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Holotype for Martesia (Diploplax) americana Bartsch & Rehder, 1945
Catalog Number: USNM 573550
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Dry
Locality: Fort Dade, Florida, United States, North Atlantic Ocean
  • Holotype: Smithson. Misc. Collns. 104(11): 10,13, pl. 2, fig. 1,2; pl. 3, fig. 3,4.
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Holotype for Martesia hawaiensis Dall et al., 1938
Catalog Number: USNM 484213
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Dry
Collector(s): J. Henderson & P. Bartsch
  • Holotype: Bull. Bernice P. Bishop Mus. 153: p. 205, pl. 52, fig. 1-7.
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Paratype for Martesia (Diplomax) funisicola Bartsch & Rehder, 1945
Catalog Number: USNM 573552
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Dry
Locality: Lake Worth, Palm Beach, Florida, United States, North Atlantic Ocean
  • Paratype: Bartsch, P. & Rehder, H. A. 1945. Smithson. Misc. Collns. 104(11): 104, figs.1,2,13,14, pl.3.
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Look Alikes

The similar species Martesia cuneiformis has a heart-shaped mesoplax with a median groove, a posteriorly divided metaplax and a hypoplax. These features are absent in M. striata (Mikkelson and Bieler, 2007). Also, Martesia fragilis is often confused with M. striata. It is distinguished by its depressed keeled-edged metaplax sculptured with concentric line (Olsson, 1961).

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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 3 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 2 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0.9 - 6.5
  Temperature range (°C): 23.636 - 23.660
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.325 - 0.457
  Salinity (PPS): 35.580 - 35.785
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.845 - 4.855
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.110 - 0.110
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.756 - 0.868

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0.9 - 6.5

Temperature range (°C): 23.636 - 23.660

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.325 - 0.457

Salinity (PPS): 35.580 - 35.785

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.845 - 4.855

Silicate (umol/l): 0.756 - 0.868
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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M. striata settles in all light intensities except total darkness. M. striata is usually found in mangroves and intertidal panels. It prefers to grow on the top surface of wooden panels, mainly dead branches and drift wood (Singh and Sasekumar, 1994). It can also grow on harder material such as PVC, synthetic rubber, and even lead. The species tolerates salinites as low as 10ppt for a short time, but is best at 31ppt (Baker et al., 2004).

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Dispersal

Larvae of M. striata swim for more than a month, and they are drifted and transported by ocean currents or ships. Adult M. striata may also be dispersed, despite the fact that they are stationary at bored wood or object. They float around by movement of floating wood or wooden ship hulls, into which they have bored (Nair, 1984).

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Trophic Strategy

M. striata is a heterotrophic marine wood borer (Singh and Sasekumar, 1994). Also, it is an obligate filter-feeder (Baker et al., 2004).

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Associations

Plant / grows inside
animal of Martesia striata grows inside dead, submerged drifwood of Trees

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General Ecology

Ganapati et al. (1961) found that metacercaria (Trematoda) may use M. striata as an intermediate host in the Indian Ocean.

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

In M. striata, the boring cycle begins with the retraction of the shell to the base of the burrow. When the shell retracts, its sharp ridges cause abrasion of the wall of the burrow. This movement of the shell originates from a single contraction of its adductor muscles. Counterclockwise and clockwise movements in the burrow follow the contraction. At the same time, siphons withdrawn and re-extend. Abraded material is collected into the mantle cavity, to be later ejected as pseudofeces through the inhalant siphon (Ansell and Nair, 1968).

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Life Cycle

After fertilization of the egg, a straight-hinge veliger (Planktonic larva) develops in 24 h. It keeps growing and becomes an umbo veliger after 8 to 12 days. Apical cilia appear at day 18, and at day 27-30 a single tooth develops. A pediveliger (a planktic larval stage after the veliger) appears after 28 to 32 days and begins to seek bottom at day 40. Metamorphosis of M. striata occurs at day 48 (Boyle and Turner, 1976). Its growth is rapid, and it reaches sexual maturity after 1 month of settlement. In 4 months, it reaches the full adult size (Baker et al., 2004).

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Life Expectancy

Life expectancy is approximately 10 years (Barkati and Tirmizi, 1991).

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Reproduction

M. striata is an alternate hermaphrodite, with the sexes changing depending on water temperature. Most individuals change to female in the summer, while reverting back to male in the winter. Fertilization is external, in the water column, and larvae swim freely in the ocean for about a month (Poutiers, 1998).

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Evolution and Systematics

Evolution

Fossils of the species have been found in the Neogene of Eastern and Gulf coastal states of the United States (Kennedy, 1974). Their age is estimated at around 5-22.5 million years.

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Physiology and Cell Biology

Cell Biology

No information available.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Genomic DNA is available from 4 specimens with morphological vouchers housed at British Antarctic Survey
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Enzymes such as amylase, lipase, alginase, and chitobiase have been found in the crystalline style of M. striata. No cellulase is produced by M. striata (Wilbur and Yonge, 1966), but the species harbors cellulolytic bacteria (Dhevendaran et al., 2001). Glycogen constitutes about 3% of its dry weight, concentrated in the muscle and gonad (Nagabhushanam, 1961).

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Conservation

Conservation Status

M. striata is not evaluated on IUCN (IUCN, 2010).

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

M. striata destroy human's underwater cables and pipes (Jenner et al., 2003).

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