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Bay Scallops

Argopecten irradians


  • Mottled gray and black bivalve with two shells
  • Shell has many longitudinal ridges; lower shell is white
  • Have one adductor muscle, often sought after for food
  • Rows of blue eyespots along edge of mantle

Similar Species

Calico scallops, A. gibbus (have a patchwork of red and pink color on the upper shell).


Up to 3 inches.


Seagrass meadows in shallow waters.


Capable of swimming by clapping valves together.

Feed by opening their shells and filtering small particles of algae and organic matter from the water. 


Rapid changes in water temperature generally trigger bay scallops to spawn. In Florida, most spawning occurs in the fall when the temperature drops. A single scallop is capable of producing millions of eggs at once, but only one egg out of 12 million is likely to reach adulthood.

Additional Information

Rarely live longer than one year.

Recreational regulations

Bay scallop research