A not-so-common bivalve from Florida, Pinctada longisquamosa differs from the more commonly found Atlantic Pearl Oyster, Pinctada imbricata, among other characters, mainly by the long, overlapping projections on its periostracum (the external shell layer.) The species reaches 29 mm in size (about 1.15 inches), and is found from Bermuda, Bahamas, east coast of Florida and the Keys, throughout the southern Caribbean Sea to Venezuela and Colombia. Illustration created by Patricia A. Starkey for the Museum's Digital Imaging Project.
Shell of the Week: The Scaly Pearl Oyster
Pinctada longisquamosa, from Lower Matecumbe Key, Florida. Illustration created by Patricia A. Starkey for the Museum's Digital Imaging Project.