The Great Mediterranean Scallop - Pecten Jacobaeus

Latin: Pecten Jacobaeus

English: Great Mediterranean Scallop

German: Die Mittelmeer-Pilgermuschel

Italian: Capasanta, Cappasanta, Pettine di Mare, Conchiglia di San Giacomo

Spanish: La Breca

Croatian: Jakovljeva kapica, Jakobova kapica, Kapešante

About: The Great Mediterranean Scallop is an edible saltwater clam in the family Pectinidae.

It is endemic to the Mediterranean Sea and very similar to The Great Scallop (Pecten Maximus), which has much larger distribution.

pecten jacobaeus - the great mediterranean scallop

The Great Mediterranean Scallop - Pecten Jacobaeus
Photo by Wikipedia

These scallops eat various planktonic organisms, which they obtain by filtering sea water with their gills.

It can swim by opening and closing shells and thus producing thrust to move around.

Maximum shell length is around 15cm. Upper shell is more or less flat and brown-redish, while lower shell is convex and much lighter in color. Shells have 15-18 angled ribs.

Spawning depends on water temperature and usually begin around 13-14°C and reaches maximum in spring when water warms to around 18°C.

Common maximum legal size of this species is 6cm, which corresponds to the length when it reaches reproductive maturity.

Habitat: Pecten Jacobaeus is found throughout Mediterranean and adjacent seas.

It is commonly found between 5 and 30m - it doesn't descend below 70m.

It occurs mostly on sandy, sandy-loamy and similar terrains.

Fishing period: In most countries fishing is not allowed during late winter and spring due to spawning season.

Fishing rigs and tackle: Scallops of this species are collected commercially for human consumption using appropriately constructed dredges that doesn't catch significant amounts of small, young scallops.

Recreational fishermen usually collecting them during free diving, usually to the depths up to 20-25 meters. Collecting them, even for personal use, using scuba equipment is usually strictly forbidden.

Cuisine: In many countries, it is considered as rare and prized delicacy. It can be prepared in various ways like risotto, clam stew, mixed stew and similar. Larger specimens are prepared on barbeque. Personally, it doesn't lag behind oysters in taste and flavor.

They are also eaten raw with few drops of lemon and olive oil.