This species was once the basis of an important fishery, but in recent years catches have been low.
This species grows up to three inches in maximum width, and is similar in shape and sculpturing to theAtlantic bay scallop. Both valves of the shell are cupped. The shell near the hinge is extended into “ears”, as is the case in all scallops. The shell of the Atlantic calico scallop has about 20 radial ribs, which are sometimes roughened by growth lines.
The exterior coloration of the upper (left) valve is dark yellow or pink, with striking blotches of red which sometimes form stripes. The lower (right) valve of this scallop is whitish with small reddish or purple spots. It has a white interior, often with brown patches on the “ears” and top edge.
The lively outer coloration of the shell of this species gave rise to its popular name; in the USA, “calico” was for many years an inexpensive but colorful fabric printed with small flower patterns.
Euvola ziczac is known by many names. Previously, its scientific name was Pecten ziczac, but most current literature lists both Euvola and Pecten for clarity. Like other scallops, zigzag scallops bear the characteristic two-valved, calcium carbonate shells that are rounded along the outer edges and flattened at the bottom near the prominent hinges. On either side of the hinge are projecting “ears” or auricles that contribute to scallops’ distinctive shapes. In Bermuda, zigzag scallops commonly grow to 120 mm, but they are generally not as large in the Caribbean.
Zigzag scallop shells show a wavy, crenulated pattern along their outer edges and have several colored rays varying from white to orange, yellow, or gray. Within this pattern are well-defined annual rings which make determining a scallop’s age relatively easy to the trained eye. The zigzag scallop’s lower valve is somewhat cup-shaped, whereas its upper valve forms a flat to concave lid. They exhibit a zigzag pattern of stripes on their shells which gives the species its name. Interestingly, it also moves in a zigzag pattern when jetting.
Zigzag scallops in particular have a series of bright blue eyes along the edge of their mantles. These eyes, ocelli, are sensitive to changes in light intensity, and signal the animals to close their shells if they sense a change in shadows or another nearby disturbance. The scallops also close their shells if exposed to the air or mildly threatened. Surrounding the ocelli are small sensory tentacles which line the conspicuous inner fold of the mantle. These serve to regulate water flow into and out of the animal.”
SeaShell News, 3-1-15, Bowman’s Beach, Sanibel Island.
Bowman’s Beach is one of the premier shelling beaches on Sanibel Island.
“Sea shell collecting is varied here although when a storm has recently passed by it is excellent. The removal of shells from this beach is prohibited when they house living creatures.
The white sand on this beach is composed of fine pulverized quartz, which eroded from the Appalachian Mountains some 200 million years ago and was delivered to the Gulf by inland tributaries. Over time, wind and sea currents brought the material to its current location.
Bowman’s Beach, Sanibel Island, FL, is on an island that is home to around 6,000 full time residents and 12,000 part time inhabitants. From the beach itself, there is no sign of said habitation as not a single building can be seen from the sands. Only palm trees serve as a backdrop here.
The island where this beach is found has been rated to be among the ten best places in the U.S. for bird watching. A small trail can be hiked through the woods behind the beach that runs parallel to the shoreline.
A nice True Tulip and a Banded Tulip from shelling on Cayo Costa Island.
“The tulip shell has a fusiform outline, with an overall smooth surface, and presents fine growth lines, and small denticles on the inner edge of its delicate outer lip. It is whitish to tan in color, with rows of darker brownish blotches of various sizes. Over the blotches are symmetrical rows of thin lines which spiral along the whorls of the shell, which are normally about 9 in number.
The shell of an adult tulip snail can be from 2.5” to 9.5” inches (6.4 – 24.1 cm) in length.” Source: True Tulip.
“The banded tulip shell does not grow as large as that of the true tulip, Fasciolaria tulipa. Also the color pattern is different: the color splotches appear as a redder color (blue in rare areas) and the stripes that give the banded tulip its name are much farther apart.
The shell grows to be 2 ¼ – 4 1/8 inches (5.7-10.5 cm) in length.” Source: Banded Tulip.