Rangia cuneata were collected every six weeks for one year from February 1984 to January 1985 at the mouth of the Dog River, Alabama, USA and dosed with 200 ppb [9-14C] anthracene at 10, 20, and 30°C. Uptake rates of [9-14C] anthracene measured over a 15-h period were not significantly different (P>0.05), but depuration rates measured over a two-week period were significantly higher with increasing temperature. The seasonal changes in rates were related to the annual changes in biochemical composition of the clams associated with the reproductive cycle. Lipid levels were nearly constant over the year, averaging 88.0±2.0 mg/g dry wt. The level of carbohydrates peaked in July, a month before the maximal gonad index, and decreased steadily through September during spawning. The level of proteins increased from 76.6 mg/g dry wt prior to spawning to 138.3 mg/g dry wt after spawning. Uptake rates were highest in late summer during the peak of gametogenesis and decreased during spawning in the fall. Depuration rates remained low from March through August and rapidly increased to the highest levels during the fall spawning period. The results suggest that the stage of the reproductive cycle, with its associated biochemical changes, and temperature play an important role in the pattern of accumulation and release of anthracene in R. cuneata. © 1987 Springer-Verlag.