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Biology/Natural History: This species has a slower growth rate than does Chlamys hastata, and puts less of its energy into reproduction. In southern BC, individuals live about 6 years. These species of scallops have many eyes around the perimeter, which can perceive light and direction but cannot form an image. Predators include the seastars Crossaster papposus and Pycnopodia helianthoides. Swimming is a primary escape response. The sinuous whelk, Buccinum plectrum, may also be a predator since the presence of the whelk elicits a swimming response in the scallop. May be parasitized by Odostomia columbiana, the Clam Sucker snail.

This species of scallop is often covered with the symbiotic sponge Myxilla incrustans or Mycale adhaerens. The symbiosis is likely mutualistic. If one of the major predators of the scallop, Evasterias troschelii, encounters the scallop (and the scallop does not swim away) it often turns away if it touches the sponge; likely in response to some secretion or to the spicules from the sponge. The sponge also appears to make it more difficult for the seastar's tube feet to adhere to the scallop. If the sponge is removed from the scallop and the scallop is prevented from swimming, it is readily captured by the seastar. The scallop will also swim from predators of the sponge, such as Archidoris spp, so the sponge is benefited as well. The swimming scallop may also help carry the sponge into areas with clean water and good currents, nd help prevent fouling of the sponge.


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© Rosario Beach Marine Laboratory

Source: Invertebrates of the Salish Sea

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