Invasion History

First Non-native North American Tidal Record:
First Non-native West Coast Tidal Record:
First Non-native East/Gulf Coast Tidal Record:

General Invasion History:

North American Invasion History:


Rock Oysters of the genus Saccostrea are widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of the Indo-Pacific region. Their taxonomy is difficult- at times they have been considered forms of S. cucullata (Hooded Oyster, Natal Rock Oyster).. Individuals vary greatly in size and shape, according to substrate and other environmental factors (Poutiers 1998; Lam and Morton 2006). Genetic studies indicate that there multiple species and species complexes of Saccostrea, some of which are widespread, and some geographically confined. Genetic studies of mitochondrial DNA indicate that there are at least 5 species (A-E) within S. cuccullata (Lam and Morton 2006. Populations of Saccostrea belonging to the S. cucullata complex have been found in the Caribbean. They are clearly introduced but cannot be assigned to a species until the systematics of the genus are better resolved (Lohan et al. 2016).


Taxonomic Tree

Kingdom:   Animalia
Phylum:   Mollusca
Class:   Bivalvia
Subclass:   Pteriomorphia
Order:   Ostreoida
Family:   Ostreidae
Genus:   Saccostrea
Species:   cucullata complex


Ostrea cucullata (Born, 1776)
Ostrea cornucopiae (Chemnitz, 1785)
Ostrea cornucopiaeformis (Saville-Kent, 1893)
Ostrea echinata (Quoy and Gaimard, 1835)
Ostrea forskaelii (Chemnitz, 1785)
Osteea forskalli (Gmelin, 1791)
Ostrea spinosa (Deshayes, 1836)
Crassostrea cucullata ((Born), 1776)

Potentially Misidentified Species

Saccostrea glomerata
Saccostrea glomerata =Saccostrea commercialis (Sydney Rock Oyster) has been often synonymized with S. cuccullata, but appears to be genetically and geographically distinct, limited to southern Australia (Lam and Morton 2006).

Saccostrea kegaki
Saccostrea kegaki has been synonymized with S. cuccullata, but is genetically and geographically distinct, and limited to Australia (Lam and Morton 2006).

Saccostrea mordax A
Saccostrea mordax has been often synonymized with S. cuccullata, but appears to be 2 species, genetically and geographically distinct from each other and S. cucculata.Australia. Both S. mordax A and B have wide ranges from China to Australia (Lam and Morton 2006).

Saccostrea mordax B
Saccostrea mordax has been often synonymized with S. cuccullata, but appears to be 2 species, genetically and geographically distinct from each other and S. cucculata. Both S. mordax A and B have wide ranges from China to Australia (Lam and Morton 2006).

Saccostrea palmula
Saccostrea palmula is native to the tropical West Pacific (Lohan et al. 2016)




Phytoplankton, detritus


other oysters

Trophic Status:

Suspension Feeder



General HabitatOyster ReefNone
General HabitatMarinas & DocksNone
General HabitatRockyNone
General HabitatMangrovesNone
General HabitatCoral reefNone
Salinity RangePolyhaline18-30 PSU
Salinity RangeEuhaline30-40 PSU
Tidal RangeSubtidalNone
Tidal RangeLow IntertidalNone
Tidal RangeMid IntertidalNone
Vertical HabitatEpibenthicNone

Life History

Tolerances and Life History Parameters

Minimum Temperature (ºC)4.8Experimental (Davenport and Wong 1992)
Maximum Temperature (ºC)40Experimental (Davenport and Wong 1992)
Minimum Reproductive Temperature25Experimental (Kalyasundaram and Ramamoorthi 1986)
Maximum Reproductive Temperature35Experimental (Kalyasundaram and Ramamoorthi 1986)
Minimum Reproductive Salinity20Experimental (Kalyasundaram and Ramamoorthi 1986)
Maximum Reproductive Salinity35Experimental (Kalyasundaram and Ramamoorthi 1986)
Maximum Length (mm)200More usually to 100 mm (Poutiers et al. 1998)
Broad Temperature RangeNoneWarm temperate-Tropical
Broad Salinity RangeNonePolyhaline-Euhaline

General Impacts

Regional Distribution Map

Bioregion Region Name Year Invasion Status Population Status
NWP-2 None 0 Native Estab
NWP-3a None 0 Crypto Estab
NWP-3b None 0 Crypto Estab
EAS-I None 0 Native Estab
EAS-VI None 0 Native Estab
AUS-II None 0 Native Estab
AUS-I None 0 Native Estab
AUS-XIV None 0 Native Estab
AUS-XII None 0 Native Estab
AUS-III None 0 Native Estab
CIO-II None 0 Native Estab
WA-V None 0 Native Estab
EA-III None 0 Native Estab
IP-1 None 0 Native Estab
CIO-I None 0 Native Estab
SP-XII None 0 Native Estab
SP-VII None 0 Crypto Estab
EAS-III None 0 Native Estab
AUS-XIII None 0 Native Estab
GAden Gulf of Aden 0 Native Estab
RS-1 None 0 Native Estab
RS-2 None 0 Native Estab
RS-3 None 0 Native Estab
AG-1 None 0 Native Estab
AG-3 None 0 Native Estab
AG-5 None 0 Native Estab
MED-V None 1999 Def Estab
NZ-IV None 0 Native Estab
WA-IV None 0 Crypto Estab
EA-V None 0 Native Estab
CIO-III None 0 Native Estab
WA-III None 0 Crypto Estab
CAR-III None 2015 Def Estab
SP-XXI None 1996 Def Estab
NEA-V None 2007 Def Unk
SP-XIV None 0 Def Estab
PAN_CAR Panama Caribbean Coast 2015 Def Estab
SA-II None 2014 Def Estab

Occurrence Map

OCC_ID Author Year Date Locality Status Latitude Longitude


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