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Family  Malleidae

Hammer Oysters




This is a numerically small family with less than 10 species. The principal genus is Malleus, with eight cosmopolitan species. Hammer Oysters are medium to large size, with the largest, Malleus malleus, reaching 314 mm in height. They mainly occur in the Indo-West Pacific region, but there is one species in the Atlantic. Their habit is shallow intertidal, either on rocky substrates or mud, living attached to solid objects by a byssus. Shells are irregularly hammer-shaped with an elongate body and wings of varying length.

Only two species are found in NSW. Both are Indo-West Pacific tropical species which extend into NSW from the north, reaching southwards to Sydney and rarely further south.

Family Reference: Yonge (1968) described the species which occur in NSW.

Coverage: Both of the species that occur in NSW are treated here.


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