The gametogenic cycle of the ponderous ark, Noetia ponderosa (Say, 1822), was studied in a Cedar Key, Florida population between March 2001 and January 2003. Ponderous arks are dioecious, and no hermaphrodites were found in this study (n = 592). The sex ratio of females to males was 0.84:1.00, but was not significantly different from parity. On the Gulf coast of Florida, the ponderous ark dribble spawns over most of the year, peaking in the summer and fall months and with the least spawning activity occurring during the spring when gametes are maturing. A small percentage (5.2%) was found infested with an undescribed digenetic trematode. The Cedar Key area has an important commercial hard clam (Mercenaria mercenaria) aquaculture industry, and the implications of these findings on the potential for its diversification based on this species are discussed.
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Vol. 24 • No. 1