Abstract

The diversity and abundance of benthic malacological communities associated to Thalassia testudinum beds was studied at four localities of Mochima Bay, Sucre state, Venezuela. At each locality, samples were taken monthly on perpendicular transect at different depths (0-4 m), from January 1991 to December 1991, using a quadrate (0.25 m2) for collecting mollusks and sediments. A total of 2 988 organisms of infauna and epifauna belonging to 81 species of the classes Gastropoda (41) and Bivalvia (40) were collected. More abundant species were Anadara notabilis, Codakia orbicularis, Cerithium litteratum, Cerithium eburneum, Batillaria minima, Modiolus squamosus, Modulus modulus, Chione cancellata, Turritella variegata, Arca zebra, y Laevicardium laevigatum. There were significant differences in number of organisms between depth and month at La Gabarra which presented the highest value of total (4.51 bits/ind) and monthly diversity (2.71–3.90 bits/ind). Biomass and abundance were low in the Mochima Bay while Varadero station presented the highest value. The bivalve A. notabilis and gastropod M. modulus were species common to the four stations.
Keywords: benthic community, molluscs, seagrass beds, mochima, venezuela, thalassia