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Overview

Brief Summary

Young queen scallops attach themselves to rocks with byssus threads, but older animals are good swimmers; by snapping their valves open and close, they push water around which moves them as well. Just like great scallop, they have light-sensitive stips located around the shell which help them to 'see'. Fresh shells from young specimen are regularly found on the Frisian beaches; live animals are found particularly on floating objects. In the Province of Zeeland, you find mostly fossilized shells.
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Comprehensive Description

Description

 Both valves of the shell are convex. The outline is rounded with conspicuous ribs and projections, ears, on each valve. It can grow up to 9 cm in diameter. The shell is variable in colour but often light-pink to brown, orange or yellow and often with bands, zigzags, rays and spots of darker or lighter shades. The right valve is often paler and flatter than the left. The ears of the shell have fine ribs and concentric corrugations. The sculpture of the shell consists of approximately 20 bold, radiating ridges and the margins of the shell are strongly crenulate. When viewing the inside of the right valve (the more convex shell) the left (or anterior) ear is larger than the right. The left forms a notch below the ear and possesses small teeth. It is from this notch the young scallop release fine threads (the byssal thread) to attach to hard substrata. Spines are absent. The shell is often overgrown with encrusting sponge.Young 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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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 364 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 172 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 1726
  Temperature range (°C): 4.892 - 19.203
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.693 - 18.903
  Salinity (PPS): 31.635 - 38.154
  Oxygen (ml/l): 5.262 - 6.746
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.039 - 1.190
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.987 - 11.708

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 1726

Temperature range (°C): 4.892 - 19.203

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.693 - 18.903

Salinity (PPS): 31.635 - 38.154

Oxygen (ml/l): 5.262 - 6.746

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.039 - 1.190

Silicate (umol/l): 0.987 - 11.708
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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 The 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.
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Evolution and Systematics

Functional Adaptations

Functional adaptation

Tentacles detect predators: queen scallop
 

The tentacles of a queen scallop provide an early warning by detecting chemicals associated with approaching predators.

     
  "The eyes are not the [queen scallop's] only source of warning -- the tentacles around the mantle edge are extremely sensitive to certain chemicals, and can probably detect the approach of a starfish long before its shadow falls, certainly in time for the scallop to close its valves or leap away." (Foy and Oxford Scientific Films 1982:118)
  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Foy, Sally; Oxford Scientific Films. 1982. The Grand Design: Form and Colour in Animals. Lingfield, Surrey, U.K.: BLA Publishing Limited for J.M.Dent & Sons Ltd, Aldine House, London. 238 p.
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Functional adaptation

Eyes detect changing movement patterns: queen scallop
 

The numerous simple eyes of the queen scallop detect changing patterns of movement using two retinas, one that responds to light and the other to darkness.

     
  "The scallop is the record holder for sheer numbers of eyes. It may have from 50 to 200 simple eyes, strung along the edge of its mantle like a string of glistening beads.

"The eyes of a queen scallop are dotted all around the edge of its mantle. The jewel-like effect is due to a reflecting layer or tapetum behind each eye. Scallop eyes contain two types of retina -- one responds to light, the other to sudden darkness, such as the shadow cast by an approaching predator. The scallop probably cannot interpret shapes, but can detect changing patterns of movement, such as moving light-dark changes." (Foy and Oxford Scientific Films 1982:118)
  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Foy, Sally; Oxford Scientific Films. 1982. The Grand Design: Form and Colour in Animals. Lingfield, Surrey, U.K.: BLA Publishing Limited for J.M.Dent & Sons Ltd, Aldine House, London. 238 p.
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Wikipedia

Queen scallop

The Queen Scallop, scientific name Aequipecten opercularis, is a medium-sized species of scallop, an edible marine bivalve mollusk in the family Pectinidae, the scallops.

Several shells of Aequipecten opercularis.

Description[edit]

A beachworn left valve of Aequipecten opercularis from Wales

At about 7 cm in size, this is one of the smaller scallop species that is commercially exploited. The shell of this species is sometimes quite colorful, and it is also thin and brittle. It has about twenty radiating umbones. The left valve is slightly more convex than the right one. One auricle of the right valve is larger than the other which creates a notch near the hinge used by the modified foot in young scallops to spin Byssal threads.[2] Older scallops are free swimming.

Life habits[edit]

The queen scallop feeds on a diet of plankton, and is commonly found up to 40 metres below mean sea level, although it has been known to exist up to 400 metres below sea level. This species is distributed from Norway south to the Canary Islands and the Mediterranean and is common in the North Sea on beds of sand and gravel.[3]

Fishery around the Isle of Man[edit]

The Isle of Man in the British Isles is famous for the queen scallop, or "Manx Queenie" as it is known locally. Due to the vagaries of landings over the years, Manx fishermen have worked on technical conservation regulations, in order to ensure that stocks of the queenie have remained robust. These have included restrictions on fishing times, closed seasons, and limitations on the number of dredges permitted. The Island also has two conservation areas in Manx waters; one has been in place since 1989 and the other was created in 2008; these areas are closed to mobile fishing. These conservation areas are supported by the fishing industry; the fishermen themselves started the initiative to create the Douglas closed area. Data analysis appears to support the viability of these areas, which appear to help ensure that the Manx queenie can be fished sustainably.

"The Isle of Man Queenie Festival" [1] is an annual, week-long celebration of the Manx Queenie with many restaurants, hotels and pubs serving Queen Scallops on the menu. The Queenie Festival includes all kinds of events including sailing, diving, barbecues, beach days, sea swims, entertainment and plenty of Queen Scallops.

"Isle of Man queenies have been awarded the European Union Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) stamp"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rosenberg, Gary (2011). "Pecten opercularis (Linnaeus, 1758)". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  2. ^ Marine Species Identification Portal : Aequipecten opercularis
  3. ^ Marine Species Identification Portal : Aequipecten opercularis
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