Biodiversity & Conservation

Great scallop - Pecten maximus - General information

Pecten maximus

Image Sue Scott - Great scallop, Pecten maximus, and maerl. Image width ca 25 cm.
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Distribution map

Pecten maximus recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

Why do the maps differ?

Sightings Have you seen Pecten maximus?
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Pecten maximus is not listed under any importance categories.

General information

Key Icon Researched by: Charlotte Marshall and Emily Wilson Text page icon Refereed by: Andy Beaumont

Taxonomy icon Taxonomy

Phylum Mollusca Snails, slugs, mussels, cockles, clams & squid
Class Bivalvia Clams, cockles, mussels, oysters, and scallops
Map icon Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland Recorded around most coasts of Britain and Ireland, with only scattered records from the east coast of Great Britain.
Habitat information icon Habitat information Usually found in a shallow depression in the seabed. Prefers areas of clean firm sand, fine or sandy gravel and may occasionally be found on muddy sand. Distribution in this species is invariably patchy.
Text page icon Description Both shell valves are fan shaped with an 'ear' on either side of the apex of the valve. The right valve is strongly convex and tends to be off-white, yellowish, or light brown in colour, often with bands or spots of darker pigment. The left valve is flat and is light pink to reddish brown in colour. Pecten maximus grows up to 15 cm long and both valves each have 15-17 radiating ribs.

This review can be cited as follows:

Charlotte Marshall and Emily Wilson 2009. Pecten maximus. Great scallop. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 10/10/2015]. Available from: <>