- Despite the similar common name, the thorny oyster molllusc is more closely related to
the scallop. Like scallops and file clams, they have a well developed middle
mantle that carries sensory tentacles with multiple eyes around the shell edges.
Reflecting this rich endowment of sensory receptors, their cerebral and visceral ganglia
have become much more concentrated, in the visceral region, and they show distinct optic lobes with
nerve trunks to the mantle edges (Morton,
- However, in common with the true oysters, thorny oysters live cemented to shells or
other substrates as epifaunal species, rather than living attached by a byssus.
Their key shell characteristic is a ball & socket type hinge, rather than the
more common toothed hinge of bivalves.
- Class: Bivalvia
- Subclass: Pteriomorpha
- Order: Pterioida
- Suborder: Ostreina
- Family: Spondylidae
- Single Genus: Spondylus
Spondylus wrightianus (Crosse, 1872)
Wright's Thorny Oyster
13.6 cm, spine-to-spine
Spondylus japonicus (Amano & Marui, 1958)
Japanese Spiny Oyster
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