Chlamys varia is known commonly as the variegated scallop. This bivalve mollusc is very variable in colour and ranges from white, pink, red, orange, yellow, purple with all shades in between, often in irregular patterns. Both shell valves are convex, oval in outline, except for the protruding ears, and usually up to 6 cm long. There are 25-35 prominent ribs on the valves, each with spatulate spines. These are especially well developed near the margin. Growth stages are sometimes clear. The shell is solid, inequilateral and inequivalve. The anterior ears are 2-3 times longer than the posterior. A prominent byssal notch is present in the right anterior ear, with fine teeth on the lower border.Chlamys varia matures as a male, changing sex several times during its life (Hayward et al., 1996).
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