Coquina clams (Donax variabilis) were sampled monthly at 2 sites in Pinellas County, Florida, to document recruitment and growth. Samples collected from the swash zone were counted, measured, and preserved. Histological staging of a subset of the preserved gonads was performed to assess patterns in reproduction. Peak spawning and recruitment were observed in early spring, and growth rates were calculated through the fall. Spawning and low densities of recruits persisted throughout the summer and fall. The presence of spawning D. variabilis during 21 of 23 mo indicates a continuous reproductive cycle. Multivariate analysis of length—frequency data and frequency of reproductive stages indicates a cycle of approximately 8 mo, suggesting a typical life span of less than 1 y, although some individuals survive longer.
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Vol. 30 • No. 1