Atlantic Calico Scallop, Argopecten gibbus

The Atlantic Calico Scallop, Argopecten gibbus, is a species of medium-sized edible saltwater clam, specifically a scallop, a marine bivalve mollusk belonging to the family Pectinidae.

This particular species grows up to three inches in maximum width, and is similar in shape and sculpturing to the Atlantic bay scallop. Both of the valves of the shell are cupped. The shell that is near the hinge is extended into “ears”, as is the case in all scallops.

The exterior coloration of upper left valve is dark yellow or pink, with striking blotches of red which sometimes create stripes. The lower right valve of this scallop is whitish with small purple or reddish spots. The interior is white, often with brown patches on the “ears” and top edge.

The outer coloration is lively, giving its popular name.

The Atlantic calico scallop resides in the ocean east of Cape Lookout and southwest of Beaufort Inlet and lives in up to 100 foot depths. The shells are commonly seen washed up on sound and ocean beaches.

Image Caption: Atlantic calico scallop, Argopecten gibbus. Credit: Edwardtbabinski/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)