Home    Marine Invertebrates    Scallop Species Profiles    Thorny Oyster

Thorny Oyster

(Spondylus americanus)

Join the Conversation  

 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 12"
• Diet: Filter Feeder   • Aquarium Level: Substrate   • Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons
 • Reef Compatible: Yes   • Water Conditions: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
• Supplements: Calcium   • Coloration: Red, White, Yellow
• Origin: Caribbean • Family: Spondylidae   • Species: Scallops

Help Support AquariumDomain!      

• Your support keeps AquariumDomain advertisement free, lightning fast and fully optimized for both mobile and desktop browsing.
• Visit our Patreon page to learn about the exclusive benefits our Patrons receive!

Native Habitat and Species Information

Thorny Oyster native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Thorny Oyster is a member of the clam family. They are large sessile invertebrates with very colorful mantles. The Thorny Oyster's shell is shaped much like a scallop's shell, but the Thorny Oyster remains securely attached to the substrate on the aquarium floor, and does not wander. In the wild Thorny Oysters are commonly found on rocks, coral reefs, submerged wrecks, and sea walls, in water 1-150' (0.3-46 m) deep, with a distribution from the Carolinas to Brazil (most of the Caribbean).

Their exterior is whitish, yellow, or orange to reddish-brown; early part of left valve often lighter or reddish and spotted; ribs and riblets on left valve with erect spines; right valve may have dense, leafy concentric ridges. The interior is smooth, whitish, light brown or reddish on ears, with finely grooved margin often purple, brownish, orange, or yellowish.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Thorny Oyster in the home aquarium.

The Thorny Oyster is a reef safe invertebrate that is most often kept by the home aquarist as an ornamental element in the aquarium. The shell has many ridges and spines giving the Thorny Oyster an unusual, unique appearance. It is always best to quarantine the Thorny Oyster to be sure that you do not introduce any protozoan diseases they may have.

Hobbyists will want to maintain stable water parameters, as the Thorny Oyster is very sensitive to changes in specific gravity, and requires strong water currents. Thorny Oysters require good water conditions with moderate to strong water currents. They are sessile and are of no harm to either fish or other invertebrates in the aquarium.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Thorny Oyster.

Thorny Oysters are filter feeders that use the water currents to deliver its food. In the aquarium environment it is necessary to provide moderate to strong water currents along with dissolved particulate organic substances like marine snow, bacteria and phytoplankton. Calcium supplements are also necessary for ongoing growth of the Thorny Oysters shell. Calcium supplementation is necessary for most all invertebrates as it is a crucial part of their ongoing growth and development.

Click or Tap Photos below for Full Size Photos

Click or tap the images below to view full size images, then click or tap off the image to shrink again.

Follow AquariumDomain.com on Social Networks