White Hammer Oyster

Malleus albus

White Hammer Oyster (Malleus albus)The White Hammer Oyster is one of the most unusual types of marine bivalve molluscs and easily recognised by its greatly elongate hinge extensions (recalling a hammer shape) and somewhat corrugated valves. Reaching a shell length of 200mm, it lives on the surface of sandy-mud bottoms in intertidal and shallow subtidal areas (to 5-10m), often partly encrusted with marine growths. Large specimens are usually loose, but juveniles are anchored by byssal threads to rocks and/or dead shells. Internally the shell valves exhibit a nacreous (pearly) appearance. The closely related species, the Black Hammer Oyster (Malleus malleus) has a much darker shell than the White Hammer Oyster, but sometimes occurs in the same localities.

Indo-West Pacific: Subtropical and tropical Australia.


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