The density, population, length, yield and sex proportion of the mollusks Anadara tuberculosa and A. similis were studied in Bahía de Golfito, Golfo Dulce, Pacific coast of Costa Rica from February 1998 to February 1999. A. tuberculosa was more abundant (0.9 units m-2), than A. similis (0.2 units m-2); the highest abundance was found at the canal mouths. The average lengths were 43.3 mm for A. tuberculosa and 42.8 mm for A. similis (both under the Costa Rican legal minimal length for exploitation: 47 mm). Maximum lengths were measured in the middle and upstream Canal Mayor, respectively: 43.0 mm and 43.4 mm. The correlation between length and fresh weight was 0.81 (Pearson). The average total weights were 26.2 g for A. tuberculosa and 19.1 g for A. similis. The condition index (a meat yield measurement) was higher in A. similis (21.2%) than in A. tuberculosa (17.2%). The maximum yield for both species lies in the 31-35 mm range. The male ratio was 43.7%. A species recovery plan is urgent because these results suggest both a decrease in density and illegal exploitation.
Keywords: Purruja mangrove, Anadara tuberculosa, Anadara similis, Bivalvia, morphometry