Category of Organisms Marine Molluscs
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum/Division Mollusca
Class Bivalvia
Order Pterioida
Family Pteriidae
Genus Pinctada
Species margaritifera
Binomial Name
Pinctada margaritifera
Author Linnaeus, 1758
Common Name Pearl oyster
Local Name  
Size Range
To 200 mm in height. 250 mm in the Pacific (Cernohorsky, 1972).

In the Indo-Pacific, lives attached by byssus to hard substrata (under stones, in crevices of rocks, algae), intertidal and subtidal (Cernohorsky, 1972). In Egypt, at depths less than 18m.
The best pearls are produced by the tropical P. margaritifera.
Endemic No
Found in Marine Park No
Found in Malaysia Yes
Shell large, heavy almost equivalve, stongly inequilateral; beaks near the anterior margin. Shell more or less compressed with a triangular projection at the anterior end. Outline almost circular, as hight as broad, with dorsal area straight, yet shorter than length; posterior margin slightly curved, anterior margin flexous. Rough sculpture of concentric ridges which are usually more projecting at the margins and radial rows of wide appressed scales. Hinge without teeth. Ligament in a single triangular depression.
Externally greyish green with white or yellowish radial rows of scales. Internally very pearly with a pale blue or violet cast. Margins brown to black.

Epifaunal suspension feeders. Because of their commercial interest, population dynamics of both wild and cultured oysters have been studied in various parts of the world. Suspension feeders have a high ability to acquire energy under low phytoplankton conditions. The optimal conditions for maximun survival and growth were 26-29°C and salinity 28-32%. Temperature of 35°C or greater were lethal for larvae and at all temperatures tested larvae growth and survival were lowest at a salinity of 40%.

Status in IUCN Red List Unknown
Status in CITES Species Database Unknown
Other Link(s)
Collection Record