General Description

Shells of this species are characterised by a flat left valve, and a strongly convex right valve, each with 12-16 strong radial ribs. The external shell colour is extremely variable among specimens, ranging from light brown to pink and orange. Shell up to 14 cm across.


Commercial Scallops were thought to be a number of different species because patterns on their shells are extremely variable, but genetic studies have shown that they are a single species. They are highly valued as seafood and are commercially harvested throughout their natural range. Dredging of this species is now very restricted. Populations appear to undergo natural "boom and bust" cycles resulting in fisheries sometimes having to close for years at a time while populations recover. Commercial Scallops are hermaphrodites, maturing at one year and typically spawning over winter and spring of their second year, with some variation depending on location. They can live for up to 10 years if they successfully avoid predators such as sea stars and octopuses. As with other scallop species, they are capable of swimming by rapidly closing the valves of the shell, which expels a jet of water and propels the animal along.


Most states of Australia.


Patches of bare soft sand and mud, in discrete beds, to depth of 120 m.

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