Atlantic Bay Scallop Atlantic Bay Scallop
Argopecten (Aequipecten) irradians
Blue-eyed Scallop


1 1/2-4" (3.8-10.2 cm) long. Almost circular, valves moderately convex; ears equal; byssal notch small, triangular, with few or no teeth on lower edge. Exterior white to dark gray or brown, often with concentric color bands or radial rays, ribs often darker than interspaces; 17-18 radial ribs, rounded except for fine, threadlike growth lines. Interior whitish, gray, or pinkish with dark margin, ears often spotted with brown; radial grooves present between broad, flattened ridges, which are strongly angled at margin.


On muddy sand in eelgrass, in water 1-60' (0.3-18 m) deep.


North shore of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to New Jersey.

Atlantic Deep Sea Scallops


This and the Atlantic Deep-sea Scallop (Picture at right.) are the most important scallop species fished commercially on our East Coast. Once extensively gathered, especially in New England, the Atlantic Bay Scallop has become scarce because of overfishing and because eelgrass, which is an important element in its habitat, is largely disappearing. The southern forms have been placed in 2 subspecies. A.i. concentricus, found from Maryland to western Florida and Louisiana, is more circular and has a greater number of squarish ribs; its generally white right valve is much more convex than the darker left valve. A.i. amplicostatus, from Louisiana to Mexico, is similar to A.i. concentricus, but is more inflated and has fewer ribs.