Species Factsheet

Crassostrea gigas


Complete name: Crassostrea gigas (Thunberg, 1793)
Taxonomy: Mollusca » Mollusca » Bivalvia » Ostreoida » Ostreidae » Crassostrea gigas
Authors: Dan Minchin and Stephan Gollasch
Last updated: January 7th, 2008

Common Names

Pacific oyster, Pacific giant oyster, Pacific cupped oyster.


Crassostrea gigas
Ostrea gigas Thunberg, 1793

Short Description

The Pacific oyster is a filter-feeder consuming phytoplankton and detritus in coastal brackish and marine waters. The two elongated valves are variable in shape and size with wild settling individuals cemented by one valve to a firm substrate. The left valve tends to be slightly convex and the right valve cup-shaped. The shells show irregular radial folds. Shells are usually 80-200 mm in length. The largest individual found in the Wadden Sea was 310 mm, although larger specimens have been reported elsewhere.