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Crassostrea virginica
Image courtesy of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Roberta Miller, via the World Register of Marine Species (CC-BY-NC-SA License)
Crassostrea virginica
Taxonomic Group: Mollusks-Bivalves


Crassostrea virginica is commonly known as the Eastern Oyster. It is native to the Northwest Atlantic from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Panama and Venezuela. Beginning in the 19th century, extensive transplants were made to the West Coast (from British Columbia to southern California), Hawaii, and European waters. The Eastern Oyster is currently established in Hawaii, and a tiny remnant population survives in British Columbia, but the vast majority of these introductions were unsuccessful. In its native habitat this species is characteristic of shallow, estuarine waters and can occur in the intertidal. Direct impacts from introduced Eastern Oysters have not been reported, but oyster transplants can transfer additional unintended organisms which can have impacts in their non-native range. These include the Atlantic Oyster Drill (Urosalpinx cinerea), the Atlantic Slipper Shell (Crepidula fornicata), and infaunal polychaetes (Streblospio benedicti and Clymenella torquata).

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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
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