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Crassostrea virginica   (Gmelin, 1791)

American cupped oyster

Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2100
This map was computer-generated and has not yet been reviewed.
Crassostrea virginica  AquaMaps  Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Crassostrea virginica (American cupped oyster)
Crassostrea virginica
Picture by Lietor, Jose

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | CoL | ITIS | WoRMS

Bivalvia | Ostreida | Ostreidae

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Benthic; brackish; depth range 0 - 79 m (Ref. 83435).  Subtropical, preferred 22°C (Ref. 107945)

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Western Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Introduced in Northeast Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm Max length : 30.0 cm SHH male/unsexed; (Ref. 271); max. reported age: 2.00 years (Ref. 2823)

Short description Morphology

Diagnostic features: Shell thick and heavy, usually narrow and elongate, but extremely variable in shape. Upper valve flatter, smaller than lower valve; lower valve convex. Shell shape and outline variable. Shell margins undulating straight. Umbones long and curved. Colour: dirty to light grey, internally white with muscle scar deep purple (Ref. 271).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

################ Attached to rocks, other oyster shells, or other hard substrates (Ref. 271). Favors estuaries and embayments with low salinities and are intolerant of prolonged exposure to fresh water or marine conditions. They may either be filter feeders (Ref. 96280) or suspension feeders (Ref. 3248). Found in shallow water of tidal to subtidal depth of fairly constant turbidity and salinity (Ref. 3248) and salt marshes (Ref. 2823). Main sources of food are phytoplankton, suspended detritus particles (Ref. 96280) and bacteria (Ref. 101343). Able to regulate its feeding rates based on differences in size, type and composition of the food source (Ref. 96280).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Gonochoristic (separate male and females). After external fertilization, the developing larvae or veliger settles to the bottom after a time in the plankton stage. First spawning usually occurs when oyster is two years of age (Ref. 3248).

Main reference References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Carpenter, K.E. (ed.). 2002. (Ref. 271)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 127697)

CITES status (Ref. 108899)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial
FAO - Aquaculture: production, species profile; Fisheries: landings, species profile | FishSource | Sea Around Us


Internet sources

BHL | BOLD Systems | CISTI | DiscoverLife | FAO(Aquaculture: species profile; Fisheries: species profile; publication : search) | GenBank (genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | Gomexsi | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | PubMed | Tree of Life | Wikipedia (Go, Search) | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 7.7 - 27.5, mean 23.5 (based on 794 cells).
Prior r = 0.57, 95% CL = 0.37 - 0.85, Based on 7 stock assessments.
Vulnerability (Ref. 71543): Low to moderate vulnerability (27 of 100).
Price category (Ref. 80766): Low.