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13 February 2016

Pinctada imbricata radiata (rayed pearl oyster)

Datasheet Types: Cultured aquatic species, Invasive species


This datasheet on Pinctada imbricata radiata covers Identity, Overview, Distribution, Dispersal, Diagnosis, Biology & Ecology, Environmental Requirements, Natural Enemies, Impacts, Uses, Further Information.


Preferred Scientific Name
Pinctada imbricata radiata (Leach, 1814)
Preferred Common Name
rayed pearl oyster
Other Scientific Names
Avicula albina var. vaillanti Vassel, 1897
Avicula chemnitzii Philippi, 1849
Avicula occa Reeve, 1857
Avicula radiata Leach, 1814
Avicula radiata var. canarina Philippi, 1849
Margaritifera vulgaris Schumacher
Meleagrina conemenosi Monterosato, 1884
Meleagrina occa Reeve, 1857 [Pallary, 1912; Issel, 1869]
Meleagrina radiata (Deshayes) [Tiller and Bavay, 1905]
Meleagrina savignyi Monterosato, 1884
Meleagrina vulgaris (Schumacher, 1817)
Pinctada aerata (Reeve, 1857)
Pinctada badia (Dunker, 1852)
Pinctada fimbriata (Dunker, 1872)
Pinctada fuctata (Gould, 1850)
Pinctada imbricata (Röding, 1798; Reeve, 1857; Jameson, 1901)
Pinctada lacunata (Reeve, 1857)
Pinctada longisquamosa (Dunker, 1872)
Pinctada martensii (Dunker, 1872)
Pinctada nebulosa (Conrad, 1837)
Pinctada pernoides (Reeve, 1857)
Pinctada perviridis (Reeve, 1857)
Pinctada radiata (Leach, 1814)
Pinctada squamulosa (Lamarck, 1819)
Pinctada varia (Dunker, 1872)
Pinctada vulgaris (Schumacher) [Tomlin, 1927]
International Common Names
Ceylon pearl oyster
Persian Gulf pearl oyster
pintadina radiada
pintadine radiée
Local Common Names
Atlantic pearl oyster
Venezuela lingah
Australian lingah
bastard shell
Indian Ocean, Western
Akoya pearl oyster
pate goung
unahi pipi


External view of Pinctada radiata shell.
External view
External view of Pinctada radiata shell.
Stratos Xentidis
Internal view of Pinctada radiata shell.
Internal view
Internal view of Pinctada radiata shell.
Stratos Xentidis

Summary of Invasiveness

According to Streftaris and Zenetos (2006), P. imbricata radiata is considered to be one of the worst invasive species in the Mediterranean Sea, in terms of spread and impact. It is a relatively hardy species, tolerant to emersion (O’Connor et al., 2003) and to a wide temperature range (13-30°C) (DAISIE, 2009). It also has the ability to adapt to a changed environment (Mohamed et al., 2006) and its tolerance to chemical contamination has enhanced its expansion in enclosed polluted ecosystems (Katsanevakis et al., 2008). It is considered to be a habitat-modifying and gregarious bivalve, capable of impacting native fauna by forming oyster banks (DAISIE, 2009).
It was first recorded as invasive in Tunisia (Vassel, 1896). It is now established in all places where it has been introduced and it is steadily expanding its range (DAISIE, 2009). P. imbricata radiata is currently not on any alert list, but it is listed among the worst alien species in the Streamlining European 2010 Biodiversity Indicators on invasive alien species (European Environment Agency, 2007).

Taxonomic Tree

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Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

There is much confusion about the taxonomy and little agreement among authors about the correct scientific name of this important economic species. Over the years, this species has been described with over 20 names by different authors (i.e. Roding, 1748; Schumacher, 1817; Lamarck, 1819; Conrad, 1837; Phillippi, 1849, Gould, 1850; Reeve, 1857; Dunker, 1872; Monterosanto, 1884; Vassel, 1897). This large number of synonyms is due to the wide variety in shape, strength of sculpture, and colour of P. imbricata radiata shells (Zenetos et al., 2004a). 
In recent times, depending on the area, it has been generally known as Pinctada imbricata (Central America and Australia), Pinctada radiata (Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea), Pinctada vulgaris (Sri Lanka), and Pinctada fucata (Japan, India, Eastern Pacific ocean). Ranson (1961) put Pinctada fucata and other species in the synonymy of P. imbricata radiata with P. radiata limited to the Arabian Gulf and Red Sea, while Shirai (1994) places those species including P. radiata in synonymy with Pinctada imbricata. Carpenter and Niem (1998) suggested that

Pinctada radiata

(Leach, 1814) must be used as the oldest available name.   The matter is not fully resolved as molecular results are contradictory. The papers by Tëmkin (2010) and Cunha et al. (2011) were published at similar times and do not discuss each other's results. Tëmkin treated




as geographical subspecies of


, whereas Cunha et al. presented a molecular tree that resolved them at the rank of species. This may be a result of the two papers using different markers: Tëmkin used 18S, 28S, 16S, and H3, whereas Cunha et al. used 18S and CO1 (Bouchet, 2016). Here, we follow the latest nomenclature used in WoRMS.


Adult P. imbricata radiata have a fragile, rather thin and compressed, small to medium size shell. The shell is inequivalve with the left valve more inflated, and has an almost quadrate outline. The dorsal margin is relatively long, and definitely longer than the body of the shell. The posterior margin is slightly concave and protrudes only slightly (or not at all) beyond the tip of the anterior ear. The beaks point anteriorly, and the hinge line is straight with no teeth present. The ligament is set in a single triangular depression. The common size of this oyster is usually 50-65 mm.
The external coloration of the shell is variable. It can be uniform or with darker markings on radial rays, and is generally brownish or reddish. Sometimes, green and bronze coloration has been observed. The outer surface has densely set, appressed and flattened imbricating concentric lamellae, and often moderately small radially projecting spines, mostly preserved towards the margins. The internal side has a highly iridescent nacreous area, whereas the non-nacreous margin is glossy and light brown in colour, usually with dark brown or reddish blotches corresponding to the main external rays (Zenetos et al., 2004a).


P. imbricata radiata is a bivalve with a very wide distribution. It is found in both hemispheres and in most oceans and seas around the world. It is present in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, and more recently in the Mediterranean Sea.

Distribution Map

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Distribution Table

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History of Introduction and Spread

P. imbricata radiata was first reported outside its natural biogeographical distribution in 1874 in the Mediterranean Sea. It was collected on the shores of Alexandria, Egypt and was one of the very first marine species of Indo-Pacific origin to cross the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean. It was subsequently reported from Tunisia (1890), Israel (1899), Cyprus (1899), and Malta (1912).
In 1963 it was imported for aquaculture purposes to Greece, but its cultivation did not prove prosperous and was thus abandoned. However, P. imbricata radiata was naturalised and expanded in the Hellenic Seas (Pancucci-Papadopulou et al., 2005). Subsequent findings of this species in areas where aquaculture activities (historical or recent) are absent support a Lessepsian mode of introduction (Zenetos et al., 2005). Furthermore, molecular studies of P. imbricata radiata populations in the Saronikos area (Greece) have rather excluded shipping as the mode of transportation (Zenetos et al., 2004b).
In 1965 it was reported in Lebanon and in the early 1970s it was also reported in Libya (1973) and Syria (1975). In 1979, individuals of this species were found attached on the hull of a naval vessel in the port of Toulon, France (Zibrowius, 1979). It was reported in 1982 from Italy (Di Natale, 1982) and Turkey. More recently it was reported in the northern Adriatic Sea, in Croatia (2006). It is suspected that the populations in France and the northern Adriatic Sea are due to shipping transport (DAISIE, 2009). It is now well established in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and seems to be expanding (DAISIE, 2009). It is also reported to be established and spreading in the Central Mediterranean (Italy: Lodola et al., 2013; Stasolla et al., 2014. Malta: Evans et al., 2015).
In the Azores, (Northwestern Atlantic Ocean) P. imbricata radiata individuals were first found in 1998 attached to a ball-float near Faial. Later, there was a second report of occurrence in Vila Franca do Campo (São Miguel) (Àvila et al., 2000). The vector is still unknown but it is presumed that the introduction was not deliberate (Cardigos et al., 2006).
Winston et al. (1997) recorded Pinctada attached to marine litter off the coast of Florida. The species was also included in trans-Atlantic rafting mollusca on macro-litter: American molluscs on British and Irish shores (Holmes, 2015).


Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonsIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Azores 1998  NoNo 
Croatia 2006 NoNo 
Cyprus 1899 YesNo 
Egypt 1874 YesNo 
France 1979 NoNo 
Greece 1963 YesNo 
IrelandUSA   NoNomarine litter
Israel 1899 YesNo 
Italy 1982 YesNoSicily
Lebanon 1965 YesNo 
Libya 1973 YesNo 
Malta 1912 YesNo 
Syria 1975 YesNoCorsica
Tunisia 1890 YesNo 
Turkey 1982 YesNo 
UKUSA   NoNomarine litter

Risk of Introduction

P. imbricata radiata is currently spreading towards the north and western Mediterranean Sea (DAISIE, 2009) and it is suspected that it will slowly expand throughout the Mediterranean coastline. The relatively recent record of its finding in the Azores (northeastern Atlantic Ocean) (Àvila et al., 1998), indicates that there is a strong possibility of this species spreading towards the European Atlantic coast as well.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

Natural Dispersal

The pelagic larvae of P. imbricata radiata are dispersed by water currents (DAISIE, 2009) and its distribution in the Mediterranean Sea implies that the progressive penetration of this species is mainly caused by natural dispersal (Dogan and Nerlovic, 2008).

Vector Transmission

There is a record of P. imbricata radiata individuals attached as epibionts to the shell of a loggerhead sea turtle (Carretta carretta) in the Mediterranean Sea (Oliveiroet al., 1992).   Winston et al. (1997) recorded


attached to marine litter off the coast of Florida. Holmes et al. (2015) reported it on macrolitter: three specimens, attached to a plastic spool, Chesil Beach, Dorset, UK, and one shell, in a bait pot, Loher Beach, Waterville, Co Kerry. Ireland.  

Accidental Introduction

Accidental occurrences of P. imbricata radiata have been recorded in Toulon (France), where the species was scraped off the hull of a naval ship (Zibrowius, 1979), and in the port of Trieste (Italy) as live individuals attached to an oil platform originating from the Strait of Sicily (Vio and De Min, 1996).

Intentional Introduction

There is documentation that P. imbricata radiata was intentionally imported for aquaculture purposes in Greece and Italy during the 1960s and 1970s (Serbetis, 1963; Zenetos et al., 2004a).

Pathway Causes

Pathway Vectors

Pathway vectorNotesLong distanceLocalReferences
Floating vegetation and debris (pathway vector) YesYes 
Ship hull fouling (pathway vector) Yes  
Water (pathway vector)Larvae dispersed by water currents Yes

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

This species is hard to distinguish from shell appearance only. It looks very similar to Pinctada margaritifera, from which it differs in size, colour and shape of the adductor muscle scar (Zenetos et al., 2004a). The shell of P. imbricata radiata is smaller and thinner, and its outer shell coloration differs from P. margaritifera in that it is tan-coloured (in contrast to greyish green) and its markings are reddish to black (in contrast to white or yellowish) (Oliver, 1992; Zenetos et al., 2004a).


P. imbricata radiata individuals are byssally attached to rocks, dead corals and various submerged objects, often forming large natural banks. They are most common on sub-littoral bottoms from depths of 5 to 25 m, but they can also be found on the littoral and shelf zones from low tide levels to a depth of about 150 m. On soft bottoms, they aggregate to one another (Carpenter and Niem, 1998).

Habitat List

CategorySub categoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Brackish Inland saline areasPrincipal habitatNatural
Brackish EstuariesPrincipal habitatNatural
Brackish LagoonsPrincipal habitatNatural
Marine Inshore marinePrincipal habitatNatural
Marine Benthic zonePrincipal habitatNatural

Biology and Ecology

The biology of pearl oysters is poorly understood, considering the importance of both natural and cultured pearl, and shell fisheries (Gervis and Sims, 1992). P. imbricata radiata is an epifaunal suspension feeder of the subtidal zone and a fouling species, living attached by its byssus to hard substrata. Its maximum lifespan is 8 years, although older specimens have been found. Growth studies have been conducted in populations of this species in the Red Sea (Yassien, 1998), Qatar (Mohammed and Yassien, 2003), India (Narayan and Michael, 1968; Jeyabaskaran et al., 1983), Japan (Wada, 1991), Taiwan (Hwang et al., 2007) and in the Mediterranean Sea (Yassien et al., 2000). Usually it attains a length of 50-65 mm. Maximum observed shell length was 93.2 mm in the Red Sea (Yassien, 1998), 64.0 mm in the Mediterranean Sea (Yassien et al., 2000), and 100.0 mm in Japan, on an individual with a ten year lifespan (Wada, 1990). Mohamed et al. (2006) concludes that the biotope and P. imbricata radiata’s interaction with the environment are important determinants of growth and shell dimensions.


The number of chromosomes for P. imbricata radiata according to Ieyaba and Inaba (1974) is n=14 and 2n=28. The gross morphology of the chromosomes of this species has been reported by Wada (1976), and its karyotype by Komatsu and Wada (1985). The molecular phylogeny of pearl oysters and their relatives has been studied by Tëmkin (2010) and Cunha et al. (2011).
Temkin (2010) found that there were low levels of molecular divergence between these populations and chose to regard this group as a single species with three subspecies; P. imbricata imbricata, P. imbricata fucata and P. imbricata radiata. The shells of this Pinctada complex are variable; differentiation of the subspecies can be difficult and are recognised by their location rather than morphology.
In contrast, according to Cunha et al. (2011), molecular analyses question the taxonomic validity of the morphological characters used to discriminate P. fucata and P. martensii that exhibited the lowest genetic divergence and are most likely conspecific as they clustered together. P. radiata and P. imbricata were recovered as monophyletic.

Reproductive Biology

Publications on the reproductive biology of P. imbricata radiata include those of Herdman and Hornell (1906), Malpas (1933), Tranter (1959), Khamdan (1998) and Zouari and Zaouali (1994). The spatial and temporary variation of juveniles this species has been studied by Castellanos and Campos (2007). P. imbricata radiata is a protandric hermaphrodite species with sex inversion occurring in shells of 32-57 mm (Zenetos et al., 2004a). Sexual dimorphism is absent, and in contrast to other species of the same genus, the colour of the gonad is an unreliable aid in sex determination (Khamdan, 1998). The morphology of the gonad, which is not a discrete organ, is similar to other species of the genus Pinctada (Khamdan, 1998). Gonad maturity is controlled by temperature (Zouari and Zaouali, 1994). Both oogenesis and spermatogenesis occur in similar timing, i.e. commence in winter and continue through spring. Thus, the breeding cycle in this species is seasonal with two peak spawnings in the summer and autumn (Khamdan, 1998; O’Connor et al., 2003). In the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, the spawning of adult P. imbricata radiata is reported to be essentially continuous since there are always at least a few spawning individuals present throughout the year (Khamdan, 1998; Yassien, 1998). In other areas however, this is not the case. Microscopic examination of the gonad in P. imbricata radiata individuals from southeast Australia (O’Connor et al., 2003) indicated differences between the two peaks: samples collected following the summer peak showed a high proportion of empty gonads, consistent with spawning, while those taken in autumn suggested that the oysters were resorbing the gonad rather than spawning. The same study (O’Connor et al., 2003) showed a significant variation in the numbers of spat settling, and that settlement was restricted to the summer months. This is consistent with summer spawning and further suggests that the second, autumnal peak in reproductive activity does not contribute to oyster settlement (O’Connor et al., 2003). Although salinity levels have been suggested for controlling spawning (Malpas, 1933), it seems that temperature is more likely to be the controlling factor (Khamdan, 1998).

Environmental Requirements

In Japan, favorable temperatures for adult P. imbricata radiata oysters have been reported to lie within the range 13-25ºC, while temperatures outside the range 7-29ºC are considered critical (Wada, 1991). Furthermore, spat of 3 mm were found to be intolerant of temperatures less than 17.5ºC, with a suggested lower limit of 15ºC (Numaguchi and Tanaka, 1986a). In controlled temperature experiments on P. imbricata radiata, a total failure of embryos to develop to D-veliger stage at 14ºC, and rapid onset of juvenile mortality in temperatures <14ºC and >26ºC were reported (O’Connor et al., 2003). The influence of temperature on growth was studied in India by Pandya (1976) who reported that P. imbricata radiatahas a higher growth rate at temperatures between 19 and 28ºC than at 28 to 32ºC. Wada (1991), notes that differences in temperature tolerance may vary with geographic area. As with temperature, salinity tolerances reported for P. imbricata radiata appear to be a function of a number of factors including geographic location and ontogeny(O’Connor et al., 2003). In Japan, long-term studies reported the minimum salinity optimum for spat to be 22.7 g kg-1 (Numaguchi and Tanaka, 1986b), while in India adult P. imbricata radiata have been found to be tolerant of salinities within the range 24-50 g kg-1 for 2-3 days (Alagarswami and Victor, 1976; Dharmaraj et al., 1987a). In Australia, P. imbricata radiata embryos failed to develop to D-veliger stage at salinities of 26 g kg-1 or less, byssal attachment by juveniles did not occur at salinities of 17 ppt or less, and high mortality occurred at salinities of 23 ppt or less within 7 days (O’Connor et al., 2003).   There is little information regarding interactions of temperature and salinity on pteriid oysters. In general, extremes in one factor reduce tolerance to variations in the other (synergism), although one factor can influence responses more rapidly than the other (O’Connor et al., 2003).


Climate typeDescriptionPreferred or toleratedRemarks
Am - Tropical monsoon climateTropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))Preferred 
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all yearWarm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all yearPreferred 
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summerWarm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summersPreferred 
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winterWarm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)Preferred 

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude lower (m)Altitude upper (m)

Water Tolerances

ParameterMinimum valueMaximum valueTypical valueStatusLife stageNotes
Depth (m b.s.l.)   Optimum 0–150 tolerated
Water temperature (ºC temperature)1325 Optimum 7–29 (Wada, 1991)

Notes on Natural Enemies

Natural enemies of P. imbricata radiata include fish, predatory flatworms, sponges (Cliona spp.), and shell boring spionid polychaetes (Polydora and Boccardia spp.) (O’Connor et al., 2003). Reports attributing damage and mortality in P. imbricata radiata to spionid polychaetes are common and have arisen in areas such as Sri Lanka (Herdman, 1903), Japan (Mizumoto, 1964), India (Dharmaraj et al., 1987b), the Persian Gulf (Doroudi, 1996) and China. Spionids are thought to “fatigue” the host pearl oyster (Wada, 1991) and weaken their shells, increasing their susceptibility to predators.
Predatory gastropods, Cymatium parthenopeum and members of the same genus have previously been implicated in farmed pearl oyster mortality (Chellam et al., 1981; Friedman et al., 1998; Urban, 2000). Observed high rate of mortality in P. imbricata radiata in the Persian Gulf (Doroudi, 1996) was attributed to the predation of species such as boring mussels (Lithophaga malaccana and Lithophaga hanlyana) and boring sponges (Cliona carpenteri, Cliona margaritifera and Cliona vastifica). Boring and fouling organisms have been known to cause mortality in P. imbricata radiata observed at different growth stages (Mohammed and Yassien, 2003).    Trematode species belonging to the family Bucephalidae have been reported to parasitize on P. imbricata radiata, causing the destruction of female gonads and resulting in reproductive failure (Ngo and Choi, 2004).

Impact Summary

Environment (generally)Negative

Impact: Economic

P. imbricata radiata has long been in use for the production of pearls and is also an edible mollusc species. There are generally no negative economic impacts caused by P. imbricata radiata. The only relevant report is that it fouls mussel lines and commercial shellfish collectors (DAISIE, 2009).

Impact: Environmental

No specific impact of P. imbricata radiata on either habitats or biodiversity has been cited in the literature (Streftaris and Zenetos, 2006). However, there is insufficient information concerning its role in affected ecosystems. This bivalve is considered to be a habitat-modifying, gregarious species capable of impacting native fauna by forming oyster banks (DAISIE, 2009).
Studies conducted in Tunisia to test for a possible community shift from a substrate without Pinctata and a substrate with initial low density Pinctada settlement, were not conclusive. Results may not confirm that the community structure variability is due to the impact of Pincata invasion because the potential and subtle community shift may be masked by the overwhelming influence of just the local environmental gradients. In spite of this, the introduced oyster may play the role of an engineer species at high densities, contributing to the complexity of the benthic habitat and influencing the trophic pattern of its fauna (Tlig-Zouari et al. 2011).

Impact: Social

No impact of P. imbricata radiata on human activities has been documented.

Risk and Impact Factors


Proved invasive outside its native range
Has a broad native range
Abundant in its native range
Highly adaptable to different environments
Pioneering in disturbed areas
Long lived
Fast growing
Has high reproductive potential

Impact outcomes

Modification of natural benthic communities
Reduced native biodiversity

Impact mechanisms


Likelihood of entry/control

Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately


Economic Value  

The rayed pearl oyster P. imbricata radiata is the pearl oyster with the longest history of sustained harvesting (Mikkelsen, 2003). It has been fished for its pearls for centuries and is amongst the widest spread of the pearl oyster species. It is collected in many areas of the Indo-West Pacific for its edible muscle, nacreous shell and ability to develop pearls (Carpenter and Niem, 1998). P. imbricata radiata has been produced in hatcheries in Asia for decades and it is considered among the most robust of the genus for this purpose (Ito, 1998). It is a major economic species for pearl production in India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, China, and Japan (Carpenter and Niem, 1998) and the main areas of production are Japan, China and India (Berthou et al., 2009). It is also actively cultured in Australia, Hawaii, Indonesia and Vietnam (CIBJO, 2006). In China, although the history of the exploitation of saltwater pearls extends as far back as 200 BC, it has only been for the last 30-40 years that the interest has extended to farming pearls in the marine environment. Culture has been limited to the southern provinces of Guangxi, Gaungdong and Hainan (O’Connor et al., 2003). In Japan it is actively cultivated and has formed the basis of a billion-dollar pearling industry. A drastic and continuing decline in Japanese production of high quality pearls and pearl shell (e.g. from 118 000 kg in 1993 to 63 000 kg in 1996) due to the degradation of inshore waters (as is also the case in China) and disease, has created a large gap in market supply of this class of pearl (O’Connor et al., 2003). P. imbricata radiata is also economically important in the Persian Gulf area, the Red Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea. In Qatar it represents about 95% of the total oyster catch (Mohammed and Yassien, 2003), in Saudi Arabia it supports artisanal fisheries (Gladstone, 2002), and in Lebanon it is considered a species with economic value, being exploited in the Sarafand area (Nader and Talhouk, 2002). It is also of minor commercial interest in Greece (Koutsoubas et al., 2007).

Social Benefit

P. imbricata radiata is an important protein source and thus has an important role in human nutrition (Gokoglu et al., 2006). It is an edible mollusc species that is consumed in many countries and areas around the world, i.e. Qatar (Mohammed and Yassien, 2003), Lebanon (Nader and Talhouk, 2002) and Egypt (Farag et al., 1999).

Environmental Services

Pearl oysters have been used extensively in contaminant screening surveys (De Mora et al., 2005) because of their ability to accumulate high concentrations of metals (Talbot, 1985; Paez-Osuna et al.,1993;) and lipid soluble pollutants (Dunbar et al., 2003) in their soft tissues. These organisms can be used as bioindicators of marine metallic pollution (Elder and Mattraw, 1984) because they can accumulate metals in their tissues in proportion to the degree of environmental contamination (Lopez-Artiguez et al., 1989; Hamed and Emara, 2006). P. imbricata radiata oysters have been specifically used as bioindicators for heavy metal pollution in numerous regions around the world, notably the Persian Gulf (Sadiq and Alam, 1989; Al-Sayed et al., 1994; Bou-Olayan et al., 1995; Madany et al., 1996; Al-Mafda et al., 1998; Zainal et al., 2008) and Australia (Gifford et al., 2005a; Giffordet al., 2005b; Linz et al., 2005; Gifford et al., 2006), but also Turkey (Goksu et al., 2005). MacFarlane et al. (2006) reports that the shell of P. imbricata radiata may be employed as a suitable biological exposure archive for lead (Pb), while Gifford et al. (2006) indicates that it is relatively tolerant to lead (Pd) and zinc (Zn), and could be deployed within a remediative context in moderately polluted coastal areas. P. imbricata radiata have also been used as biomonitors for other types of pollutants, namely organotin (De Mora et al., 2003), hexadecane and octocosane (Gifford et al., 2006), polychlorinated biphenyls (Mahaseneh and Al-Sayed, 1994), and chlorinated hydrocarbons (Mahaseneh and Al-Sayed, 1994). De Mora et al. (2005) reports that this species presents one of the best possibilities to make sub-regional comparisons of chlorinated hydrocarbon levels. P. imbricata radiata, being a commercial species with wide distribution, is an ideal tool for pollution biomonitoring. Its distribution allows for the collection of comparable data from different regions, and proven hatchery techniques can allow production of large numbers of genetically similar animals of known ages for use in trials (Sarver et al., 2003).

Uses List

General > Souvenirs
Materials > Pearls
Human food and beverage > Meat/fat/offal/blood/bone (whole, cut, fresh, frozen, canned, cured, processed or smoked)

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

Being an important economic species, the biology and ecology of P. imbricata radiata have been extensively studied. Also, because of its long history as an intensively cultured marine species, most aspects of its reproduction and growth are well documented. However, there is little information in the literature concerning its status as an invasive species. Its effect on habitats and biodiversity is poorly studied, and not yet fully understood. More research on its rate of invasion, especially in the Mediterranean Sea is needed. Furthermore, information concerning its interaction with native species of invaded areas, and its role in trophic relations is definitely required.


CIESM - Commission Internationale pour l'Exploration de la Mer MediterraneeVilla Girasole
16 bd de Suisse
OBIS - Ocean Biogeographic Information System71 Dudley Road
New Brunswick, NJ 08901


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