Thorny Oyster   (Spondylus sp.)
Phylum: Mollusca, Class: Bivalvia
Range: Tropical Seas
Size: 4.5 in.    Space:: 50+ gal.     Diet: Microplankton
Reef Safe: Yes   Care Level: Difficult   Temperament: Peaceful
Natural History: The Thorny Oysters are found on rocky sea beds. They are filter feeders that move water in and out of their mantle cavity through siphons. They thrive in water with strong current and high nutrient load. They live attached to rocks or in a rocky-sandy substrate. They are sessile as adults. This genus has a ball-and-socket joint holding the shells together, rather than a hinge. Interestingly, Spondylus has archaeological value, since early humans used them around the world for ornamentation, as much as 5000 years ago.
Husbandry: The Thorny Oyster filters the aquarium water for food. Phytoplankton feedings are required for survival in captivity. It should not be kept with mobile predators such as sea stars, hermit crabs, or true crabs. It is reported that this species prefers low light levels.

AKA: Spiny Oyster

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