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Crassostrea ariakensis
Image courtesy of Jodi Dew
Crassostrea ariakensis
Taxonomic Group: Mollusks-Bivalves


The oyster Crassostrea ariakensis is commonly known as the Suminoe Oyster and the Chinese River Oyster. It is thought to be native to the coasts of China, but was introduced very early to southern Japan, where it was first described. Under the name C. rivularis, it has been reported from India and Pakistan, and possibly Malaysia and Borneo. However, its occurrence outside China and Japan is uncertain and because of its confused taxonomy, the full extent of its native range is unknown. This species was inadvertently introduced to the US West Coast with shipments of C. gigas (Pacific Oyster) from Japan, but no wild populations have become established. Intentional introductions of this species were considered on the US East Coast and France, but after further study this was ceased. This species is characteristic of estuarine habitats in China and Japan, usually occurring in muddy intertidal zones. It normally grows at salinities of 10-30 PSU, and can tolerate brief exposures to salinities as low as 2 PSU. No impacts have been reported for this species, but it may be a viable commercial species in some contexts, although studies have shown that the transmission of new diseases is possible among cultured stocks.

*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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