Atlantic pearl oyster

Pinctada imbricata

Family Pteriidae - oysters, pearl

Distinguishing
Characteristics
Bivalve (2 shells); shell oval with a straight hinge area that is as wide or wider than the rest of the shell; usually with a wing (extension of the hinge area) on posterior end, sometimes on the anterior end; color yellow to brown, sometimes with radiating streaks of alternating dark and light colors; shells nearly flat, not very inflated, very thin and delicate; ventral and lateral margins with soft or hardened rounded projections, extending past the margins; part of the surface of shells with scaly projections; interior whitish, pearly (nacreous) in center; brownish around margins.
Similar Species
The shape and the scaly surface is usually enough to distinguish this species. The Atlantic wing oyster, Pteria colymbus, is of similar shape but has a greatly elongated wing on its posterior end.
Habitat
Gulf, attached to hard surfaces
Maximum Size
6 cm (2.5 in)
Other Common Names
Caribbean pearl oyster, akoya pearl oyster
Previous Scientific Names
P. radiata
Comments
Is capable of producing beautiful pearls. Is cultured in many countries.