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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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Distribution

Chlamys opercularis is a widely distributed bivalve mollusc primarily found along Neogene deposits in the east coast of the North Atlantic Ocean and adjacent seas. Boundaries of its range include northern Norway and the Faroe Islands in the north, south to the Iberian Peninsula, and western Ireland to the west (including the Isle of Man in the United Kingdom) and the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas to the east.

Biogeographic Regions: atlantic ocean (Native ); mediterranean sea (Native )

  • Barnes, C., S. Jennings, J. Barry. 2009. Environmental correlates of large-scale spatial variation in the δ13C of marine animals. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 81/3: 368-374.
  • Hickson, J., A. Johnson, T. Heaton, P. Balson. 1999. The shell of the queen scallop Aequipecten opercularis (L.) as a promising tool for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction: Evidence and reasons for equilibrium stable-isotope incorporation. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 154/4: 325-337.
  • Román, G., M. Campos, C. Acosta, J. Cano. 1999. Growth of the queen scallop (Aequipecten opercularis) in suspended culture: influence of density and depth. Aquaculture, 178/1: 43-62.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Chlamys opercularis is distinctly left convex (the left valve is more rounded than the right valve). The shells vary in colors and patterns of pigmentation, which can be affected by both environmental and genetic factors. Their shells are also primarily calcitic, making them relatively insusceptible to dissolution and recrystallization. They can grow up to 90 mm in shell height.  In general, scallops lack siphons and the anterior adductor muscle. A large and well-developed posterior adductor muscle is used for locomotion. Young individuals often attach to surfaces by byssal threads (silky filaments). Numerous light receptors (eyes) also line the edge of the mantle.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike

  • Fay, C., R. Neves, G. Pardue. 1983. Species profiles: life histories and environmental requirements of coastal fishes and invertebrates (mid-Atlantic): bay scallop. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Services Program FWS/OBS, 82 (11.12): 1-17. Accessed October 22, 2012 at http://www.nwrc.usgs.gov/wdb/pub/species_profiles/82_11-012.pdf.
  • Pechenik, J. 2009. Biology of the Invertebrates. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
  • Vause, B., B. Beukers-Stewart, A. Brand. 2007. Fluctuations and forecasts in the fishery for queen scallops (Aequipecten opercularis) around the Isle of Man. ICES J. Mar. Sci., 64/6: 1124-1135.
  • Winkler, F., B. Estévez, L. Jollán, J. Garrido. 2001. Inheritance of the general shell color in the scallop Argopecten purpuratus (Bivalvia: Pectinidae). The Journal of Heredity, 92/6: 521-525.
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Ecology

Habitat

Chlamys opercularis has shown optimal growth during the cooler seasons of late autumn and early winter. This species is primarily found on firm, sandy gravel or mud at depths of more than 100 meters, where the water temperature is cooler. Chlamys opercularis can also be attached to various kinds of algae, Bryozoa, hydroids, and clean shell and general benthic epifauna.  The number of individuals of C. opercularis using natural substrata as juvenile habitats has not been quantified. Reports have shown that maerl grounds (areas formed from loose-lying coralline red algae and characterized by high tides and water movements in the photic zone) support large numbers of C. opercularis and are believed to act as a nursery area. However, there is no evidence that individuals of C. opercularis prefer to live on maerl or if maerl is the initial settlement habitat.

Habitat Regions: saltwater or marine

Aquatic Biomes: benthic

  • Kamenos, N., P. Moore, J. Hall-Spencer. 2004. Attachment of the juvenile queen scallop (Aequipecten opercularis (L.)) to maerl in mesocosm conditions; juvenile habitat selection. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 306/2: 139-155.
  • Schmidt, M., E. Phillipp, D. Abele. 2008. Size and age-dependent changes of escape response to predator attack in the queen scallop Aequipecten opercularis. Marine Biology Research, 4: 442-450.
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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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Trophic Strategy

Chlamys opercularis filter feeds. This species was once thought to only consume phytoplankton but recent research indicates zooplankton is also an important source of nutrients. Zooplankton species that C. opercularis consumes include halacarid mites, calanoid copepods, halacarid fragments, copepod fragments, crustacean nauplii, barnacle cyprids, and cladocerans.

Animal Foods: aquatic crustaceans; zooplankton

Plant Foods: phytoplankton

Foraging Behavior: filter-feeding

Primary Diet: omnivore ; planktivore

  • Lehane, C., J. Davenport. 2002. Ingestion of mesozooplankton by three species of bivalve; Mytilus edulis, Cerastoderma edule, and Aequipecten opercularis. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 82: 615-619.
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Associations

Chlamys opercularis has a variety of ecosystem roles. Because it is heavily fished, many undersized animals are thrown back into the water. Small individuals of C. opercularis can sustain shell damage during this process, which makes them especially vulnerable to predation. Starfish (Asteria rubens) will prey upon these individuals. Chlamys opercularis is infected by microsporidians. Little is known about these parasites, except that they are found in the digestive tract of C. opercularis and use the scallop's blood to move around the body.

Ecosystem Impact: creates habitat

Commensal/Parasitic Species:

  • Microsporidians

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Chlamys opercularis is preyed on upon primarily by marine bottom-dwellers, such as Asteria rubens (common starfish), Pagurus spp. (hermit crabs), and Cancer pagurus (brown crab). It is also preyed on by Callionymus lyra (demersal fish). An anti-predator adaptation of this species includes jet propulsion swimming. The predator that has the biggest impact upon C. opercularis populations is humans. Because this organism is considered a delicacy, it is fished in great quantities.

Known Predators:

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Chlamys opercularis grows on maerl and possibly communicates with it through active molecules gamma aminobutyric acid or other surface properties of the maerl. Responses to stress from potential predation or changes in environment are innate. Because C. opercularis senses danger through disturbance, it detects when fish trawls are approaching.

Communication Channels: tactile ; chemical

Other Communication Modes: vibrations

Perception Channels: tactile ; vibrations ; chemical

  • Kamenos, N., P. Calosi, P. Morre. 2006. Substratum-mediated heart rate responses of an invertebrate to predation threat. Animal Behavior, 71: 809-813.
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Life Cycle

Chlamys opercularis development is influenced by both environmental and inherited factors. Additionally, their life cycle includes the trochophore and veliger larval stages. Generally, development can be described by three phases based on the nature of the energy source and the nature of the locomotion used. The first phase is considered lecithotrophic, a phase in which nutritional requirements for larvae do not extend beyond what is provided within the egg. Lecithotrophic species also have a reduced larval period during which no specific food is consumed. The second and third phases are considered planktotrophic, a phase in which larvae ingest plankton suspended in the water column.  The first phase, or embryonic phase, is extremely vulnerable to environmental conditions and requires locomotion to ensure that the early larvae move into the water column. After fertilization occurs, the offspring remain on or near the seabed for a couple of days until developing into trochophore larvae. In the second phase, or dispersal phase, the trocohophore larvae rise to the surface of the water and is transported by water currents into the water column. Eventually, the trochophore larvae become veliger larvae. The third phase occurs when veliger larvae find a suitable substrate to settle on to undergo metamorphosis and juvenile life before becoming adults.

Development - Life Cycle: metamorphosis

  • Allen, J., B. Pernet. 2007. Intermediate modes of larval development: bridging the gap between planktotrophy and lecithotrophy. Evolution & Development, 9/6: 643-653.
  • Cragg, S. 1991. Scallops: Biology, Ecology, and Aquaculture. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
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Life Expectancy

Chlamys opercularis has a lifespan of 8-10 years.

Typical lifespan

Status: wild:
8 to 10 years.

  • Strahl, J., D. Abele. 2010. Cell turnover in tissues of the long-lived ocean quahog Arctica islandica and the short-lived scallop Aequipecten opercularis. Marine Biology, 157/6: 1283-1292.
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Reproduction

Chlamys opercularis spawn externally, with released sperm fertilizing released eggs.

Mating System: polygynandrous (promiscuous)

Chlamys opercularis is a simultaneous hermaphrodite, containing both a proximal creamy-colored testis and a distal bright red ovary. Sexual maturity occurs at one year. When spawning takes place, sperm are normally released into the environment initially. Fertilization occurs when the eggs are subsequently released and come into contact with the sperm. The release of gametes into the surrounding water usually occurs in the warmer months of spring and summer, but the actual time varies depending on the region and from year to year.

Breeding season: Chlamys opercularis breeds in the spring and summer.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 1 years.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 1 years.

Key Reproductive Features: simultaneous hermaphrodite; sexual ; fertilization (External )

There is no parental protection, however, the eggs provide yolk to sustain the lecithotrophic larvae.

Parental Investment: pre-fertilization (Provisioning)

  • Allen, J., B. Pernet. 2007. Intermediate modes of larval development: bridging the gap between planktotrophy and lecithotrophy. Evolution & Development, 9/6: 643-653.
  • Cragg, S. 1991. Scallops: Biology, Ecology, and Aquaculture. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
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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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Conservation

Conservation Status

This species is not listed, but there is a high demand for its harvest. Fisheries and governments are working to a more sustainable aquaculture for this species.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

State of Michigan List: no special status

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Seafood processing employees can acquire occupational asthma as a result of prolonged exposure to C. opercularis. Processing plants can put strict instructions on how to handle C. opercularis and keep the facilities clean, which may slow productivity or increase costs.

  • Barraclough, R., J. Walker, N. Hamilton, D. Fishwick, A. Curran. 2006. Sensitization to king scallop (Pectin maximus) and queen scallop (Chlamys opercularis) proteins. Occupational Medicine, 56: 63-66.
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Chlamys opercularis has a high commercial fishing value. There is a large European market, especially in the United Kingdom and Spain, for fresh C. opercularis. A high demand for C. opercularis is economically important for humans because it not only provides a food source that can be exported for profit, but also creates many jobs. Fisheries and governments are trying to push the industry towards sustainable aquaculture, which could be less destructive to the natural ecosystem, less harmful in discarding undersized scallops, and more environmentally friendly. A more sustainable system could also be more economically viable and ensure a more consistent yield of product.

Positive Impacts: food

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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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