Protandric hermaphroditism in the bivalve Arca noae (Mollusca: Arcidae)
Following the histological analysis of Arca noae samples from the south-western Adriatic Sea, five hermaphroditic specimens were found out of 168 sexed individuals (3.0%). The hermaphrodite gonads showed the co-occurrence of male and female germ cells within the same acini, i.e. both spermatozoa in the lumen and oogonia lining its wall. Oogonia increased in size through winter, thus suggesting that the direction of sex change is from male to female. Both the biometrical analyses and theoretical considerations strongly suggest that A. noae is an obligate protandric species.