Vibrio tubiashii is reported to be a bacterial pathogen of larval Eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) and Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) and has been associated with major hatchery crashes, causing shortages in seed oysters for commercial shellfish producers. Another bacterium, Vibrio coralliilyticus, a well-known coral pathogen, has recently been shown to elicit mortality in fish and shellfish. Several strains of V. coralliilyticus, such as ATCC 19105 and Pacific isolates RE22 and RE98, were misidentified as V. tubiashii until recently. We compared the mortalities caused by two V. tubiashii and four V. coralliilyticus strains in Eastern and Pacific oyster larvae. The 50% lethal dose (LD50) of V. coralliilyticus in Eastern oysters (defined here as the dose required to kill 50% of the population in 6 days) ranged from 1.1 × 10(4) to 3.0 × 10(4) CFU/ml seawater; strains RE98 and RE22 were the most virulent. This study shows that V. coralliilyticus causes mortality in Eastern oyster larvae. Results for Pacific oysters were similar, with LD50s between 1.2 × 10(4) and 4.0 × 10(4) CFU/ml. Vibrio tubiashii ATCC 19106 and ATCC 19109 were highly infectious toward Eastern oyster larvae but were essentially nonpathogenic toward healthy Pacific oyster larvae at dosages of ≥1.1 × 10(4) CFU/ml. These data, coupled with the fact that several isolates originally thought to be V. tubiashii are actually V. coralliilyticus, suggest that V. coralliilyticus has been a more significant pathogen for larval bivalve shellfish than V. tubiashii, particularly on the U.S. West Coast, contributing to substantial hatchery-associated morbidity and mortality in recent years.