|Researched by||Susie Ballerstedt||Refereed by||Admin|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
Introduced to the south east and south west of England and north Wales.
Distributed along the coast of North America from St Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico and Panama.
This species can be found on the lower shore and shallow sublittoral. It is a prolific species in its native home and can be found on any hard surface, often becoming long and distorted when overcrowded. It is tolerant to very low salinity.
Crassostrea virginica reproduces externally with both eggs and sperm being discharged through the exhalent siphon. Over 100 million eggs may be liberated from a single female. Spawning of one individual also induces spawning in the surrounding population, therefore maximizing gamete interaction. Interestingly, spawning is temperature dependent; populations in cool temperate waters only spawn at 17°C, while populations in slightly warmer waters spawn at 20°C and sub-tropical populations spawn at 25°C. When transplanted to a different habitat individuals will not spawn, which together with competition and predation pressure from Crepidula fornicata and Urosalpinx cinerea respectivily, are likely explanations for the unsuccessful establishment of Crassostrea virginica.
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Last Updated: 08/07/2008