Pinctada radiata


Drawing by Nasser AlZayani (2017)

Phylum: Mollusca, Class: Bivalvia Order: Pterioida Family: Pteriidae

Species: Pinctada radiata

Common Name: Pearl Oyster

Description: The famous Bahraini ‘Pearl’ Oyster. Without doubt the single most important shell in Bahrain’s history, culture and economy. Internally the nacre is ‘brilliant’ and can be variously coloured (from light brown to red/brown to almost black). Externally, younger specimens have obvious concentric growth lines and usually posses frond like growths. The outer base colour is pale cream to light brown and is usually heavily rayed with rays of red/brown to dark brown. Diagnostically the internal hinge line has two long thing growths called ‘teeth’. They are extremely well distributed around the island. Typical size: L30-65mm W 30-35mm.

Information Source: Bahrain First National Report to the CBD (2006); Bahrain Seashells (1994)