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Pinctada margaritifera
Image courtesy of Museum of Toulouse via Wikimedia Commons and the CC BY-SA 3.0 license
Pinctada margaritifera
Taxonomic Group: Mollusks-Bivalves


Pinctada margaritifera is commonly known as the Black-Lipped Pearl Oyster. It has a broad native distribution in the Indo-Pacific, from the Red Sea and Madagascar to southern Japan, Hawaii, northern Australia, and the Line and Pitcairn Islands. It also occurs on the tropical Pacific coast of North and South America, from Baja California to Peru. This oyster is widely cultivated and harvested for its pearls, so it is possible that its Indo-Pacific range has been extended by humans. Introduced P. margaritifera have been found in Egypt and off of southern Florida and the Bahamas. In its native habitat, this oyster is widespread on tropical rocky shores, lagoons and coral reefs. It appears to be limited to warm, high-salinity environments. No economic or ecological impacts have been reported from its invaded range.

* Beyond its native range, this species is not currently established in North American waters.

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Fofonoff PW, Ruiz GM, Steves B, Simkanin C, & Carlton JT (2018)
National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System.
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Marine Invasions Lab
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

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