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PECTINIDAE

Scallops or Pectens, as they are usually called by collectors, are arguably the most popular bivalve family among shell enthusiasts. The shell configuration is rather similar among species: a fan-shaped valve, with radiating ribs that end in a circular lip. The opposite side holds the sutture and ends in a rather straight line and two projecting "ears" Most species are capable of producing a wide array of color forms.

Gloripallium pallium Linne, 1758

78mm. Phuket, Thailand.

A common and widespread species, which is commonly seen in gift shops and shell jewelry. Still, large, perfect specimens are an object of beauty. The usual color form is dark carmine red on white. The pictured shell is from the Andaman Sea. It is strikingly patterned in contrasting black and orange.

Nodipecten fragosus Conrad, 1849

143mm. off Panama City, Florida. USA.

A really impressive, large but lightweight species. Perfectly formed adults have seven well defined radiuses, with globose hollow nodules. Shells can be inexpensive to worth several hundreds, depending strongly on the shape and condition of the nodules. Orange and yellow shells are considered rare.

Nodipecten magnificus Sowerby I, 1835

202mm. Galapagos islands.

The undisputed king of the family, it is also a rare shell, greatly restricted to the Galapagos. The first time you hold one of these you are blown away by the absolutely massive valves colored in dark, saturated red. The feeling is impossible to transmit in a picture. Large, perfect shells are very valuable items.

Proteopecten glaber glaber Linne, 1817

70.1mm. Greece.

A common and variable Mediterranean species. Pictured here is a solid yellow example, which is also very large for the species. I selected this one to represent the taxa mainly because it contrasted with the other shells in this page. But these also come in a huge array of pastel or vibrant warm colors; or even dark brown with patterns in cream and white.

Somalipecten cranmerorum Waller, 1986

74.3mm. Somalia.

An extremely rare collector´s item, with a deeply ruffled surface. Restricted to Somalia, and only trawled in appreciable numbers by Thai shrimpres years ago. Most shells that reach the market are pretty battered due to sponge growth and the trawl process. My shell is really exceptional: with a huge size, vibrant ruby red color and pristine condition.

Swiftopecten swiftii Bernardi, 1858

94mm. Hokkaido. Japan.

A very popular species with collectors, that can easily exceed 4" and has a strange, elongated, shell; sparsely crossed by strong, nodulated ribs. The usual color is a wine or violet hue, but the shell is capable of pastel shades of pink and even solid yellow or orange like the depicted specimen - which in fact has such a saturated color it looks like neon plastic.

Caribachlamys pellucens Linne, 1817

48mm. Palm Beach. Florida. USA.

F++. A gorgeous and uncommon reef inhabitant, that can be only obtained from the hands of dedicated divers, who need to spend hours carefully searching and hand-picking these at scuba depths. This specimen is quite large and superb; it has outstanding lavender nodulations, and a bright yellow interior.

Mimachlamys asperrima Lamarck, 1819

93.4mm. Busselton. West Australia.

A very elegant pecten, closely resambling several related species, and easy to distinguish because of the tiny serrated scales on its surface. This is also extremely variable in color; coming in all shades of warm colors, but very solid, pure hues, such as the deep purple seen here is uncommon.