Whidbey Island Beachwatchers
 

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Crassadoma gigantea (Purple hinged rock scallop)

photo of purple rock scallop
Copyright © 2005 Mary Jo Adams

 

As a juvenile, this scallop is free swimming.   When it reaches a diameter of about 1 inch, it permanently cements its right valve to rock or another hard surface.   As the animal grows, the exterior of the thick valves become encrusted and overgrown with marine organisms and is often host to boring sponge.   Although it is very slow growing, this scallop can live 50 years and reach a diameter of 10 inches.   The mantle is orange with rows of blue eyes along the margins.   The purple rock scallop inhabits water from the low intertidal zone to a depth of 260 feet.   Look for it in crevices and under boulders in rocky areas.   It is preyed on by the purple sea star ( Pisaster ochraceus ) and can be easily depleted by human harvesters.

Crassadoma gigantea was previously known as Hinnites giganteus .   It is also commonly called the giant rock scallop.

 

This page was created by Mary Jo Adams on 11/6/05.

 

 

photo of purple rock scallop