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Bivalves: Bivalvia

Queen Scallop (aequipecten Opercularis Or Chlamys Opercularis): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: The valves are flat and round and have about 20 ribs extending out from the umbo. On either side of the umbo is a pair of small, winglike extensions that are slightly unequal in size. The colors of the outer surface are variable, spotted or solid, and can be white, red, or orange. The right valve is lighter in color than the left. The inside of each valve is white. The margin of the mantle has lots of sensitive tentacles with eyes.

Geographic range: They are found in the Mediterranean Sea and eastern Atlantic coast from Norway to the Cape Verde Islands, the Azores and the North Sea. They are also raised on experimental farms in Spain, France, and the United Kingdom.

Habitat: Queen scallops live on all bottoms, except those covered with rocks, at depths down to 1,312 feet (400 meters), but are most common at about 130 feet (40 meters).

Diet: They eat tiny plants and animals floating in the water.

People eat the entire body of queen scallops or just the muscle that closes the valves. The valves are sometimes worn as jewelry. (© Espen Rekdal/SeaPics.com)

Behavior and reproduction: They escape danger by "swimming."

Individuals have the reproductive organs of both males and females at the same time. Eggs and sperm are released into the water, where fertilization takes place.

Queen scallops and people: People eat the entire body or just the muscle that closes the valves. The valves are sometimes worn as jewelry.

Conservation status: The species is not considered threatened or endangered. ∎

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMollusks, Crustaceans, and Related SpeciesBivalves: Bivalvia - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Bivalves And People, Conservation Status, Black-lipped Pearl Oyster (pinctada Margaritifera): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET