Pinctada maxima   (Jameson,  1901) (Oyster)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Bivalvia

Image copyrights: Hugh Edwards

Size: Maximum shell height 30 cm, commonly to 20 cm.

Color: Outside of shell uniformly fawn, sometimes with radial stripes of darker spots in umbonal region, then, ground color in that region green, dark brown, or purple. Internal nacreous area highly lustrous, silvery with a variably extended golden border. Non-nacreous margin clear, of a plain horny color.

Shell rather thick and large to very large, sub circular in outline, with a short and ill-defined posterior ear which is not drawn out into a wing-like process. Anterior margin markedly protruding beyond the tip of anterior ear. Outer surface of valves, when not worn, covered with flattened, imbricating concentric scales bearing large and irregular, flat spines with blunt ends, roughly arranged in radial rows and projecting at shell margins. Hinge completely devoid of teeth.

Synonym (s)
Meleagrina margaritifera (Linnaeus, 1758)
Pteria (Margaritifera) maxima Jameson, 1901

Common Name (s)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Edible. Used abundantly for the mother of pearl industry and pearl trade.)
Cultured:  Yes



• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Poutiers, JM (1998) Bivalves FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the western central Pacific. Volume 1: Seaweeds, corals, bivalves and gastropods FAO, Rome 1 686 pp Available at -
  • Broome pearling history Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-03-14

Back to Search