Pteria penguin, commonly known as the penguin's wing oyster, is a species of marine bivalve mollusc in the family Pteriidae, the pearl oysters. It is native to the western and central Indo-Pacific region and is used for the production of cultured pearls. The generic name comes from Greek πτερον (pteron) meaning wing.
Distribution and habitat
Pteria penguin is native to the western and central Indo-Pacific region. Its range extends from the East African coast and the Red Sea to India, southern China, southern Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia and northern Australia. It is found attached by its byssal threads to a number of different substrates but typically to hydroids, at depths of less than about 25 m (82 ft).
Wild oysters of this species seldom contain pearls. When they do, they tend to be irregular in shape and have the same range of pinkish hues that are typical of the nacre lining the shells. The maximum diameter of the pearls is about 13 mm (0.5 in). Because the shell valves of this species are so thin, it was beyond the competence of nineteenth century oyster culturists to use it for pearl production.
With modern techniques, seeding has become easier and Pteria penguin has joined Pteria sterna, another member of the genus Pteria, as being a major producer of cultured pearls. Most of the pearls produced by Pteria penguin are "mabé pearls", also known as bubble or half pearls, formed between the mantle and the shell valve and having one flattened side. The production of round pearls is possible but requires more advanced techniques in seeding. Naturally occurring spat can be collected on spat collectors for growing on into mature oysters, and there are some hatcheries producing spat on a commercial scale. These oysters are cultured on the Ryukyu Islands, along the southern coast of China, on Phuket Island in Thailand and on Vava'u in Tonga.
- Tëmkin, Ilya (2014). "Pteria penguin (Röding, 1798)". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2014-02-16.
- Southgate, Paul; Lucas, John (eds.) (2011). The pearl oyster. Elsevier. pp. 21 & 62. ISBN 9780080931777.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
- Bondad-Reantaso, Melba G.; McGladdery, Sharon Elizabeth; Berthe, Franck C. J. (2007). Pearl Oyster Health Management: A Manual. Food and Agriculture Organization. pp. 13–14. ISBN 9789251058961.
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