bivalves text index | photo index
Phylum Mollusca > Class Bivalvia
Winged oysters
Family Pteriidae
updated May 2020
Where seen? These strangely shaped clams grow attached to other animals like sea fans and sponges, as well as mangrove trees.

What are winged oysters? Winged oysters belong to the Family Pteriidae.

Features: 1-8cm. Unlike other bivalves, they have comb-like teeth in the hinge, a feature of this family. They stick to hard surfaces by byssus threads.

Human uses: Some species are collected for food by coastal populations and used as a substitute for true oysters. The oysters that produce commercial precious pearls belong to this family, but those seen on our shores do not produce pearls.

Several sea fan oysters on one sea fan.
Changi, Jan 13

Electroma physoides
Sisters Island, Dec 12
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Sponge finger oyster in a sponge.
Changi, Jan 20

Some Winged oysters on Singapore shores


Family Pteriidae recorded for Singapore
from Tan Siong Kiat and Henrietta P. M. Woo, 2010 Preliminary Checklist of The Molluscs of Singapore.
^from WORMS
+from Singapore Biodiversity Records

  Family Pteriidae awaiting identification
  Sea fan winged oysters

  Family Pteriidae
  Electroma ovata
Electroma physoides

^Isognomon previously in Family Isognomonidae
Isognomon ephippium
(Leaf oyster)
Isognomon isognomum
(Elongated toothed oyster)
Isognomon legumen
Isognomon perna
+Isognomon spathulatus
(Mangrove leaf-oyster)

Pinctada albina sugillata
Pinctada fucata
Pinctada margaritifera
Pinctada radiata

Pteria castanea
Pteria inquinata
Pteria macroptera
Pteria penguin

Vulsella vulsella
(Sponge finger oysters) ^Previously in Family Malleidae


  • Family Pteriidae in the Bivalves section by J.M. Poutiers in the FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes: The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific Volume 1: Seaweeds, corals, bivalves and gastropods on the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) website.


  • Chan Sow-Yan & Lau Wing Lup. 30 October 2020. New record of the mangrove leaf-oyster, Isognomon spathulatus, in Singapore. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2020: 183-186. The National University of Singapore.
  • Tan Siong Kiat and Henrietta P. M. Woo, 2010 Preliminary Checklist of The Molluscs of Singapore (pdf), Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore.
  • Chou, L. M., 1998. A Guide to the Coral Reef Life of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 128 pages.
  • Gosliner, Terrence M., David W. Berens and Gary C. Williams. 1996. Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific: Animal life from Africa to Hawaii exclusive of the vertebrates Sea Challengers. 314pp.
  • Abbott, R. Tucker, 1991. Seashells of South East Asia. Graham Brash, Singapore. 145 pp.
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