||Echinocardium cordatum had long been considered as cosmopolitan, but molecular data revealed it is a complex of cryptic species, with two non-hybridizing species (B1 & B2) in the Mediterranean Sea living in syntopy with Echinocardium mediterraneum. Histological analyses of the gonads from a 17-month sampling period revealed a statistically significant time lag between the Maturity Indices of E. cordatum and E. mediterraneum. The main environmental stimulus may be different for the two nominal species, possibly seawater temperature for E. cordatum and chlorophyll a concentration for E. mediterraneum. Within the E. cordatum complex, spawning timing and synchrony are different according to major geographic areas (Atlantic/Pacific/Mediterranean) and/or the corresponding genetic subdivision [A/P/(B1 & B2)]. In contrast, the effects of temperature on the reproductive cycle seem rather to mirror the genetic lineages than environmental similarities of the different localities. Between the sister species (B1 & B2) no differences could be detected, maybe due to small sample sizes.