Common Name Black Lipped Pearl Oyster

Scientific Name Pincatda margaritifera


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Mollusca

Class: Bivalvia

Order: Pterioida

Family: Pteriidae

Genus: Pinctada

Species: P. margaritifera

You can tell a black-lipped oyster from all the other ones because it’s black with a little bit of green and white and the lip of the oyster is a dark black but not all the time. They are six to ten in. in diameter they can be bigger or smaller. It has a soft body with a grey or black foot and gills. They breathe like fish they use gills and their mantel.


They tend to live in tropical Indo-Pacific, Persian Gulf, and the Gulf of California. They live in logons and coral reefs with calm clear waters in depths to 3-130ft. Their role is a predator because it eats bits of plans and plankton. They do well because there are plenty of sea plants in that environment including plankton. It usually holds it’s self on to a rock and sucks up all the particles in the water. It uses filter feeding which is common in clams, krill, sponges, and whale sharks.


This oyster is shrinking because people harvest them certain parts of the year to get the pearl that naturally forms from the pushing of the muscles inside the oyster. People sell the pearl either by itself or use it in jewelry. There was no information on how many there are. mankind has had to step in and help this population of animals comes back because there was a high demand for there pearls that they produced. Trying to collect these oysters by diving is illegal in French Polynesia.


The Black Lipped Pearl Oyster competes with other sea animals that use the filter pump to get their food such as other oysters and clams, krill, sponges, and whale sharks. They eat plankton and peace of sea plants that are floating around in the water. Plankton are small one-water plants, animals, and bacteria. The oyster’s predators are seabirds, sand crabs, oystercatchers, snails, sea stars, stingrays, and drill snails. It evades being eaten by closing its hard shell to protect it.


Some interesting facts about my animal are that it produces a pearl. A pearl is created when a foreign object enters the shell and causes irritation like a grain of sand or a rock even a parasite. Then the nacre forms layer around the object causing it to harden and be smooth it takes years for a pearl to form. 

Author: Alfred G
Published: 02/2013



"Black Lipped Pearl Oyster." Animal Encylopedia. 8 Jan. 2008 <>. 

"Black Lipped Pearl Oyster." Answers. The Gale Group Inc. 6 Jan. 2008 <>. 

"Pearl Farming." Pacific Island Travel. Pacific Island Travel. 7 Jan. 2008 <>. 

Salomon P., and  Roudnitska M. "Perles De Tahiti." 5 Jan. 2008 <>. 

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