Atlantic calico scallop

Atlantic calico scallop

name = Atlantic calico scallop

image_width = 250px
image_caption = Atlantic callico scallop
"Argopecten gibbus"
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Mollusca
classis = Bivalvia
ordo = Ostreoida
familia = Pectinidae
genus = "Argopectin"
species = "A. gibbus"
binomial = "Argopectin gibbus"
binomial_authority = (Linnaeus, 1767)

The Atlantic calico scallop, "Argopectin gibbus", is a medium-sized edible saltwater clam, specifically a scallop, a marine bivalve mollusk.

It grows up to three inches in maximum width, and is similar in shape and sculpturing to the Atlantic bay scallop. Both valves on the scallop are cupped. The shell near the hinge is extended into "ears", as is the case in all scallops. The shell of the Atlantic calico scallop has about twenty radial ribs, which are sometimes roughened by growth lines.

The exterior coloration of the upper (left) valve is dark yellow or pink, with striking blotches of red which sometimes form stripes. The lower (right) valve of this scallop is whitish with small reddish or purple spots. It has a white interior, often with brown patches on the "ears" and top edge.

The lively outer coloration of the shell of this species is what gave rise to its popular name: in the USA, "calico" was for many years an inexpensive but colorful fabic printed with small flower patterns.


The Atlantic calico scallop lives in the ocean (it is not found in bays) east of Cape Lookout and southwest of Beaufort Inlet and lives in up to 100-foot depths. The shells are commonly found washed up on sound and ocean beaches.

This species ranges from Delaware to Brazil and is occasionally fished commercially as well as being popular among tourists.

Valve color and shell morphometry distinguish calico scallops from related species. The Atlantic calico is distinguished by the yellowish to white coloration and splotchy patches of bright red, maroon, or lavender. It is slightly convex in the left (upper) valve (Broom 1976).

Two other scallops are documented to occur in the Indian River Lagoon and are similar in size and shape. One is the Bay scallop, (Argopecten irradians), which generally has a uniform gray to gray-brown coloration with distinct convexity of the right (lower) valve. The other is the Rough scallop, (Aequipecten muscosus), which may also be mistaken for the Atlantic calico scallop. The rough scallop however has unequal "ears" and has sharp scales on the lower surface of the ribs. It also has coloration which ranges into shades of yellow and brown.


* [ The superfamily Pectinacea and scallops]
* [ Atlantic Calico Scallop] and [ NC Sea Grant]
* [ Argopecten gibbus]

ee also

* Scallop

External links

* [ The Evolution of the Argopecten gibbus Stock (Mollusca: Bivalvia), with Emphasis on the Tertiary and Quaternary Species of Eastern North America]

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