Modification by habitat in the Portuguese Oyster Ostrea (Gryphcea) angulata

Orton, J. H. ; Awati, P. R. (1926) Modification by habitat in the Portuguese Oyster Ostrea (Gryphcea) angulata Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 14 (1). pp. 227-230. ISSN 0025-3154

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While working on the beds in the River Blackwater, Essex, a collection of Portuguese oysters, which had been dredged along with native oysters (O.edulis) from the river and creeks, was seen at a glance to show a distinct average difference in shape from the usual type of Portuguese oyster. The ordinary Portuguese oyster as seen exposed for sale is usually im-ported when quite small, or occasionally well-grown, and relaid on English beds at or above low-water mark to grow and fatten. Orton has shown by definite experiments on the same beds that the Portuguese oyster spawns and spats in English waters in favourable (hot) weather. There can be no doubt, therefore, that the Portuguese oysters dredged had grown in situ from larvae which had developed in the waters of the river and creeks. In Portugal and France the Portuguese oyster is stated to occur at and just below low water springs (see Bashford Dean, Bull. U.S.F.C. XI, 1891 (1893), p. 368), and is apparently hand collected at the present day for export purposes. A difference in shape in native oysters is very common, but Bell and others have so far found it a very difficult matter to correlate any particular shape with a particular environment. Indeed, Bell stated, in a letter, that each locality seems to have its own type of shell-growth in the native oyster. Such a difference as that noted above in the Portuguese oyster was therefore deemed worthy of some attempt at expression.

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