Colour or no colour in the juvenile shell of the black lip pearl oyster, Pinctada margaritifera?
1 UMR IDES 8148, Bât. 504, Université Paris Sud, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France
2 IFREMER, Centre du Pacifique, BP 7004, 98719 Taravao, French Polynesia
3 IFREMER, Centre de Nantes, BP 21105, Nantes, France
a Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received: 25 October 2011
Accepted: 1 February 2012
Pinctada margaritifera mollusc is cultivated in French Polynesia for the production of black pearls. For this study, the colour of juvenile samples (48 days old) was investigated in the visible range spectra (430–700 nm) using spectrophotometry. A first measurement was done with the soft parts still inside the shell (entire animal). Then, the soft parts were removed in order to do a second measurement on the growing edge of the shell. Comparison of the two measurements shows that the estimation of the living animal colour with unaided eye is strongly influenced by the colour of the soft parts. The use of the International Commission on Illumination (ISI) chromaticity diagram shows that at this growth stage, the shells are “white”; i.e. present no absorptions to the visible part. Multivariate statistical analyses based on the intensities of 6 wavelengths show that the shell colour is less variable than the colours of the entire animals. Wavelength intensities of the shells are similar, so no colour trend is visible. On the other hand, the colours of the entire animals are darker, and more variable. At this growth stage, the shell colour is not predictable for a potential selection of receiver or donor.
Key words: Juvenile shell / Colour-scoring / Mollusc / Pearl oyster / Pinctada margaritifera
© EDP Sciences, IFREMER, IRD 2012