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Pecten maximus:   (click for more)

Pecten maximus:   (click for more)

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  • Chlamys maximus  Linnaeus, 1758, (original description).
  • Pecten vulgaris  da Costa, 1776
    FAO Names
    En - Great Atlantic scallop, Fr - Coquille St-Jacques atlantique, Sp - Vieira(=Concha de Santiago).
    3Alpha Code: SCE     Taxonomic Code: 3160800309
    Diagnostic Features
    Shell solid, equilateral, ears equal; inequivalve, right (lower) valve convex, slightly overlapping the left (upper) valve which is flat; almost circular in outline; very large specimens measure 15,24 cm in length. Ears prominent occupying at least half the width of the shell; byssal notch in the right anterior ear slight, not serrated. Sculpture of 12 to 17 broad radiating ribs and numerous concentric lines. Growth stages clear. Ears with a few thin ribs radiating from the beaks. Margin crenulate where indented by the radiating ribs.  Left valve red-brown, right valve white, cream or shades of light brown with pink, red or pale yellow tints; both may carry zigzag patterns and may be adorned with bands and spots of red, pink or bright yellow. 
    Geographical Distribution

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    Eastern Atlantic Ocean, from Norway south to Spain. Also around the Azores, Madeira ant the Canaries.
    Habitat and Biology
    Lives on sand and gravel bottoms but it can be found in mud as well,from the extreme low tide down to 250 m (in literature to 1846 m).The young molluscs live attached with their byssus to a hard substrate, but when they become adult the shells are free-swimming. They spend most of the time resting on the lower (right or convex) valve in self-dug depressions in the bottom, so that the upper (left or flat) valve is parallel to the sea-floor. Sand, mud, gravel or living organism cover the upper valve so that only the margin of the shell (with all tentacles and eyes) remains visible; most active during the day. When disturbed the animal retracts with a quick movement into its valves and becomes virtually undetectable.
    Maximum 17 cm in diameter; common 10 to 15 cm.
    Interest to Fisheries
    The total catch reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 35 411 t. The countries with the largest catches were UK (19 108 t) and France (12 745 t).
    Pecten maximus are fished in large numbers: the meat is considered as excellent and a luxury product. In France, the species is protected and the professional fishermen are obliged to respect severe regulations.
    Local Names
    English : Scallop ,  St. James' shell .
    Poppe, G.T. & Y. Goto. - 1993European Seashells. Vol II (Scaphopoda, Bivalvia, Cephalopoda). Verlag Christa Hemmen, Wiesbaden, Germany. 221 pp.
    Poutiers, J.M. - 1987 Pectinidae. In: Fischer, W.; M.-L. Bauchot; M. Schneider (eds.), Fiches FAO d'Identification des espèces pour les besoins de la pêche. (Révision 1). Méditerranée et mer Noire. Zone de pêche 37. Vol. I. Végétaux et Invertébrés.
    Tebble, N. - 1966British Bivalve Seashells. A Handbook for Identification, London Trusties of the British Nuseum (Natural History): 212 pp.
    Vera, J. - 1992Diccionario multilingüe de especies marinas para el mundo hispano. Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación. Secretaria General Técnica. 1282 pp.
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