Shell of the Week: The Crested Oyster
Ostrea stentina Payraudeau, 1826 (family Ostreidae) is a 40 mm (about 1.5 inch), rarely 50 mm (about 2 inches), oyster that may be found on Southwest Florida beaches. The shell outline consists of variations of oval shapes, and the shell edge is often crenulated, or crimped. Its color is variable, sometimes grayish, often with tinges of brown. Unlike the edible, commercial Eastern Oyster, Crassostrea virginica, which may form large clusters with thousands of individuals, the Crested Oyster is solitary or may gather forming only small groups.
The Crested Oyster, Ostrea stentina, from Sanibel. Photos by José H. Leal.