< Previous species


Next species >

7901-1.jpg (698189 bytes)



Saccostrea scyphophilla (Péron & Lesueur, 1807)      Milky Oyster

Description: Solid, heavy, always adherent to substrate. Shape: Ovate to elongate, often much longer than wide, often distorted. Triangular in cross section, left (lower) valve adherent with an erect part at right angles to adhered part. Right valve curved. Hinge moderately long. Interior white, margins purple-black, with chomata on upper valve. Exterior with radial ribs, usually worn away and only visible at margin, foliated when not worn. Shell colour purple-black.

Size: Up to 100 mm in length.

Distribution: Indo-West Pacific. In Australia, from south-western WA, around northern Australia, to Sydney, NSW. Present at Long Reef, Collaroy, and also one outlier record from Warden Head, Ulladulla, southern NSW, in the Australian Museum collection.

Habitat: On rock or coral surfaces intertidally.

Comparison: This species is uncommon in NSW, found in exposed habitats among beds of S. glomerata. It is identified by having the lower valve cemented to the substrate with its edge raised at right angles to form a fluted commissure with the upper valve.

Synonymy: Synonyms include Ostrea amasa Iredale, 1939 and Ostrea mordax Saville-Kent, 1891.

Remarks: In NSW this species is always more uncommon than Saccostrea glomerata where they occur together.

Fig. 1: Woody Head, near Iluka, NSW. (C.120319)


Copyright Des Beechey 2024