The black-lip pearl oyster,, has a wide geographic range extending from Baja California across the Indo-Pacific basin to the Red Sea, and northwards into the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. These regions enclose a number of suitable habitats for the oyster that feature coral reefs and lagoons. There are seven subspecies of ; each has a particular local distribution within the range of the species.
typica: Ryukyus, Taiwan, Australia, Micronesia and Melanesia; cumingi: Cook Islands, French Polynesia; mazalanica: Panama Bay, Baja California; erythraensis: Red Sea; persica: Persian Gulf; zanzibarensis: East Africa, Madagascar, and the Seychelle Islands; galtsoffi: Hawaiian Archipelago. (Sims, 1993; Yukihira, et al., 1999)
- Other Habitat Features
- intertidal or littoral
- Range depth
- 40 (high) m
- 131.23 (high) ft
- Sexual Dimorphism
- sexes alike
- Range mass
- 5.5 to 8.8 g
- 0.19 to 0.31 oz
- Range length
- 146 (high) mm
- 5.75 (high) in
- Average length
- 130 mm
- 5.12 in
- Development - Life Cycle
- Key Reproductive Features
- seasonal breeding
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- sequential hermaphrodite
- broadcast (group) spawning
- Breeding interval
- Black pearl oysters may spawn several times during their breeding season.
- Breeding season
- Depending on their geographic location, black pearl oysters may spawn anytime between March to November.
- Average number of offspring
As broadcast spawners, there is no parental investment. Young develop independently in the water column, drifting as plankton. (Sims, 1993)
- Parental Investment
- no parental involvement
- Average lifespan
- 15 years
- Average lifespan
After settlement as a postlarva, (Sims, 1993)spends a large amount of time seeking a compatible substrate (usually in a dark area) to bind to with its byssal threads. If such a substrate cannot be found, the oyster will migrate to a different location using its foot.
Black pearl oysters are sessile, and do not have a home range or territory.
Communication and Perception
Little is known about communication in. Marine invertebrates in general are known to detect the presence and spawning activity of conspecifics by sensing dissolved chemicals.
- Communication Channels
- Perception Channels
- Primary Diet
- Animal Foods
- Plant Foods
- Foraging Behavior
Despite the protection of their calcareous valves, Chicoreus virgineus is described as the most dangerous predator for unprotected within the Red Sea. Mud worms were responsible for the majority of deaths in Palau. Pearl oysters are most vulnerable as larvae, because they are eaten by planktivores and are easily swept away from desirable benthic areas by ocean currents. (Loret, et al., 2000; Sims, 1993)is especially vulnerable to predation by sharks and rays. Other predators include octopus, starfish and predatory gastropods. In particular, the gastropod
Bivalves are important in influencing phytoplankton concentrations through “top-down” grazer control. This action reduces particle density within the water and increases the amount of light which can reach benthic organisms. Bivalve waste can be assimilated as food for phytoplankton growth. Furthermore, the oyster beds form a sheltering hard-substrate habitat, housing numerous epifaunal and infaunal invertebrate species, and the oysters themselves are food for higher-order carnivores. Several types of Sporozoa are common parasites associated with and responsible for a large number of mollusk deaths. A number of parasitic annelid worms of the genus Polydora have had a similar effect on oyster mortality in the Persian Gulf. (Chagot, et al., 1993; Mohammad, 1972; Newell, 2004)
- protist, Sporozoa
- annelid worm Polydora
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Pinctada maxima account for about half of the world market. The pearl industry earned $18 million in exports for the Cook Islands in 2000. However, these numbers have substantially decreased due to a decrease in international pearl prices and problem with disease in Manihiki. In 2002, revenue fell to less than $11 million which includes profit from other forms of jewelry. Oysters of the genus Pinctada are not typically harvested for food, as other oyster species are. (McKenzie, 2004; Van Dyke, 2011)has been cultivated into a major commercial species for the pearl industry. Tahitian black pearls, derived from and from
- Positive Impacts
- body parts are source of valuable material
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
There are no known adverse effects ofon humans.
Albert Gamez (author), San Diego Mesa College, Paul Detwiler (editor), San Diego Mesa College, Angela Miner (editor), Animal Diversity Web Staff.
- Pacific Ocean
body of water between the southern ocean (above 60 degrees south latitude), Australia, Asia, and the western hemisphere. This is the world's largest ocean, covering about 28% of the world's surface.
Referring to an animal that lives on or near the bottom of a body of water. Also an aquatic biome consisting of the ocean bottom below the pelagic and coastal zones. Bottom habitats in the very deepest oceans (below 9000 m) are sometimes referred to as the abyssal zone. see also oceanic vent.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
the nearshore aquatic habitats near a coast, or shoreline.
active at dawn and dusk
- active during the day, 2. lasting for one day.
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
- external fertilization
fertilization takes place outside the female's body
union of egg and spermatozoan
a method of feeding where small food particles are filtered from the surrounding water by various mechanisms. Used mainly by aquatic invertebrates, especially plankton, but also by baleen whales.
having a body temperature that fluctuates with that of the immediate environment; having no mechanism or a poorly developed mechanism for regulating internal body temperature.
- intertidal or littoral
the area of shoreline influenced mainly by the tides, between the highest and lowest reaches of the tide. An aquatic habitat.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows. In insects, "incomplete metamorphosis" is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and "complete metamorphosis" is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms. Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis.
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
photosynthetic or plant constituent of plankton; mainly unicellular algae. (Compare to zooplankton.)
an animal that mainly eats plankton
condition of hermaphroditic animals (and plants) in which the male organs and their products appear before the female organs and their products
structure produced by the calcium carbonate skeletons of coral polyps (Class Anthozoa). Coral reefs are found in warm, shallow oceans with low nutrient availability. They form the basis for rich communities of other invertebrates, plants, fish, and protists. The polyps live only on the reef surface. Because they depend on symbiotic photosynthetic algae, zooxanthellae, they cannot live where light does not penetrate.
- saltwater or marine
mainly lives in oceans, seas, or other bodies of salt water.
- seasonal breeding
breeding is confined to a particular season
remains in the same area
non-motile; permanently attached at the base.
Attached to substratum and moving little or not at all. Synapomorphy of the Anthozoa
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
animal constituent of plankton; mainly small crustaceans and fish larvae. (Compare to phytoplankton.)
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Chagot, D., A. Fourgerouse, M. Weppe, A. Marques, G. Bouix. 1993. A Gregarine (ProtozoaSporozoa) parasite of black-lipped pearl oysters (L., 1758) (MolluscaBivalvia) from French Polynesia. Zoologie/Zoology (Parasitologie animale/Animal Parasitology), 3: 239-244.
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Loret, P., S. Le Gall, C. Dupuy, J. Blanchot, A. Pastoureaud, B. Delesalle, X. Caisey, G. Jonquières. 2000. Heterotrophic Protists as a Trophic Link between Picocyanobacteria and the Pearl Oyster Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 22: 215–226. Accessed February 19, 2013 at http://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/2000/publication-823.pdf.in the Takapoto Lagoon (Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia).
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Mohammad, M. 1972. Infestation of the Pearl Oyster Hydrobiologia, 39: 463-477.(Linné) by a new species of Polydora in Kuwait, Arabian Gulf.
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Sims, N. 1993. Pearl Oyster. Honiara Solomon Islands: Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency. Accessed February 19, 2013 at http://www.spc.int/DigitalLibrary/Doc/FAME/FFA/Reports/FFA_1992_063.pdf.
Thielley, M., M. Weppe, C. Herbsut. 1993. Ultrastructural study of gametogenesis in the French Polynesian black pearl oyster Mollusca, Bivalvia). I-Spermatogenesis. Journal of Shellfish Research, 12: 41.(
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Yukihira, H., D. Klumpp, J. Lucas. 1999. Feeding Adaptations of the Pearl Oysters P. maxima to Variations in Natural Particulates. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 182: 163-173. Accessed February 19, 2013 at http://www.int-res.com/articles/meps/182/m182p161.pdf.and