Variegated Scallop

Chlamys varia

  1. Wildlife
  2. Bivalves
  3. Variegated Scallop


Variegated Scallops are found from just below the tidal zone, down to depths of up to 80 metres. A medium-sized clam-like shell, with radiating ridges and characteristic scallop 'wings' by the hinge, the Variegated Scallop is a familiar seashell shape. Scallops live on rocky and gravelly shores and seabeds, and swim by opening and closing their shells rapidly, sending out jets of water which propel them forwards.

How to identify

There are various species of scallop, which can be hard to tell apart. This is the commonest and most likely to be found washed up on the beach. Its colour is very variable: white, pink, red, orange, yellow or purple.

Where to find it

Found all around our coasts.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Molluscs provide a vital link in the food chain for many of our rarer species. Our seas and coastline are in need of protection if we are to keep our marine wildlife healthy. The Wildlife Trusts are working with fishermen, researchers, politicians and local people towards a vision of 'Living Seas', where marine wildlife thrives. This work has recently had a massive boost with the passing of the Marine Bill, promising sustainable development of the UK's marine environment. Do your bit for our Living Seas by supporting your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Variegated Scallop
Latin name
Chlamys varia
Length: up to 6cm
Conservation status