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Southwest Florida Shells with Emphasis on Sanibel & Captiva

By José H. Leal

Family Pteriidae

Pinctada imbricata

Röding, 1798

Atlantic Pearl Oyster

Shell size to 76 mm; Shell roundish, thin, flattened to moderately inflated, inequivalve. Hinge with two wing-like projections, posterior wing shorter than that of P. colymbus. Periostracum with flat, scale-like projections aligned concentrically. Color tan, brown, or purplish, with greenish cast. Inner surface nacreous. The image of the live Atlantic pearl oyster (about 2.5 mm) was taken by Anne DuPont in October 2014 on a piling of the Blue Heron Bridge, Riviera Beach, Florida, at about 1.8 m depth. This image clearly shows the gill leaflets, or lamellae between the mantle layers.