Pinctada chemnitzii

Pinctada chemnitzii (Phillippi, 1849)

Distinguishing Characteristics

P. chemnitzii is often confused with the "Akoya Complex" or Pinctada imbricata species.

Ecology and Habitat
P. chemnitzii is found on the Northern coast of Australia and in the South and East China Sea. It is also native to the Japanese owned Ryukyu Islands.

P. chemnitzii in Pearls
For over forty years, P. chemnitzii has been used in China for pearl culture. The Japanese use this Chinese species for pearl culture as well and refer to it by the name "akoya gai". Currently, a hybrid of P. chemnitzii and P. imbricata is the favored oyster used in Akoya pearl production in both Japan and China.
Naturalis_Biodiversity_Center_-_RMNH.MOL.318465_-_Pinctada_chemnitzii_(Philippi,_1849)_-_Pteriidae_-_Mollusc_shell.jpeg 320px.jpeg - source: Naturalis Biodiversity Center/Wikimedia Commons

Common SynonymsP. atlantica (Lamarck 1819)
P. glabia (Gould 1850)
P. lentiginosa (Reeve 1857)
P. praetexta (Reeve 1857)
P. tegulata (Reeve 1857)
P. occa (Reeve 1857)
P. epitheca (Irelade 1939)
Popular NamesJapan: Akoya gai
China: Taiwan Pearl Oyster
Primary SourceNorthern and Northwestern coast of Australia, Southeast Asia, China Sea and the Ryukyu Islands of Japan. Tropical IndoPacific.
Other geographical locationsChina, Vietnam, Korea
P. chemnitzii in pearlsKnown as the Chinese akoya oyster, this species is currently used in akoya production in Japan, China, and Vietnam

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