Ostrea edulis
Native oyster

Ostrea edulis
A view of the upper (right) side of a native oyster attached to pebbles.
Image width ca 5 cm.
Image: Keith Hiscock

Phylum Mollusca
Class Pelecypoda
Habitat Information
Ostrea edulis is associated with highly productive estuarine and shallow coastal water habitats on firm bottoms of mud, rocks, muddy sand, muddy gravel with shells and hard silt. In exploited areas, suitable habitat is/has been created in the form of 'cultch' - broken shells and other hard substrata.
Species description
Ostrea edulis is a bivalve mollusc that has an oval or pear-shaped shell with a rough, scaly surface. The two halves (valves) of the shell are different shapes. The left valve is concave and fixed to the substratum, the right being flat and sitting inside the left. The shell is off-white, yellowish or cream in colour with light brown or bluish concentric bands on the right valve. Ostrea edulis grows up to 110 mm long, rarely larger. The inner surfaces are pearly, white or bluish-grey, often with darker blue areas.
PMF archive information
Species name is listed in the PMF at the following locations:
>Mewstone shell gravel/Mewstone Ledges
Millbay Channel
Queens grounds and New Grounds
Tamar Estuary

Links to the MarLIN Biology and Sensitivity Key-information pages

Basic Information

Taxonomy &
General Biology Habitat Preference & Distribution Sensitivity & Recoverability Importance