Queen scallop (Aequipecten opercularis)
|Researched by||Michelle Carter||Refereed by||Admin|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||Chlamys opercularis (Linnaeus, 1758)|
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandFound around all British and Irish coasts.
Global distributionFound south of Norway to the Mediterranean and the Canary Isles.
HabitatThe queen scallop is found between tidemarks, to depths of 100 m and on sand or gravel, often in high densities. It also occurs amongst beds of horse mussels Modiolus modiolus.
- Shell variable in colour from pink, brown, orange or yellow with bands, zigzags, rays and spots.
- Each valve has about 20 radiating ridges.
- Grows up to 9 cm in diameter.
- The anterior ear of the right valve is slightly larger than the left.
Additional informationYoung scallops remain attached by the byssus, later becoming unattached and are then able to swim freely. The queen scallop differs from the king scallop Pecten maximus. In the king scallop, the lower valve on which it lies, is deeply convex and white, while the upper valve, generally red or brown (often marbled) is almost flat. In the queen scallop, both valves are convex, the upper being slightly more-so than the right and colour is variable. The number of ribs varies between species with the queen scallop possessing 19 to 22 ribs and the king scallop 15 to 17 ribs. The queen scallop is fished commercially at a number of localities and particularly around the Isle of Man. Often the valves are heavily encrusted with various organisms particularly sponges. This relationship has been described as protective-mutualism. The sponge is thought to protect the scallop from predation by starfishes while the sponges are protected from predation by the sea slug, Archidoris pseudoargus. Scallops detach from their byssal thread at some point in their life, usually upon attaining 1.5-2.0 cm but retains the ability to secrete a byssus until at least 6.5 cm long.
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This review can be cited as:
Last Updated: 29/05/2008