Pecten novaezealandiae

Pecten novaezealandiae

New Zealand scallop
A group of shells of Pecten novaezelandiae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Bivalvia
Order: Ostreoida
Suborder: Pectinina
Superfamily: Pectinoidea
Family: Pectinidae
Genus: Pecten
Species: P. novaezelandiae
Binomial name
Pecten novaezelandiae
Reeve, 1853

Pecten novaezelandiae, common name the New Zealand scallop, is a bivalve mollusc of the family Pectinidae, the scallops. Its name is sometimes found misspelt as Pecten novaezealandiae.


  • Distribution 1
  • Habitat 2
  • Introduction 3
  • Life cycle 4
  • Fisheries 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Pecten novaezelandiae is endemic to New Zealand. It is found in the North Island, South Island, Stewart Island, and the Chatham Islands.


Pecten novaezelandiae is found on sand, silt, and mud from low tide level to over 90 m. Large populations are found at depths of 10 to 25 m.[1]


Pecten novaezelandiae is completely free-living, mobile and somewhat migratory.[2] The two valves are asymmetric. The left valve is convex while the right is flat. The concave valve has approximately 16 ribs.[2] The colour is variable, however the valves are usually a whitish pink, but sometimes can be a dark reddish brown. Natural predators are sea stars and octopus.[3]

A colourful young Pecten novaezelandiae

Life cycle

Sexually mature individuals are Tasman Bay, the peak time is from November to March.[1] Fertilisation occurs and a planktonic larva forms. This life stage is conserved for approximately three weeks. Metamorphosis occurs and the larvae changes from planktonic to a benthic existence by attaching itself to suitable substrate on the seafloor. The attachment lasts until the individual is at least five millimetres long. The individual then detaches from the substrate and begins to grow into an adult. Maturity is usually achieved by 18 months.


The New Zealand scallop is a large industry and export product of New Zealand. The large white adductor muscle is eaten; sometimes, the orange and white gonad is eaten, as well. P. novaezelandiae is considered a fine food and can be expensive to purchase. Recreational and commercial fishing of this species is allowed at particular times of the year, the scallop season. The size and number of scallops which can be caught are under control of the quota management system. In some areas of suitable habitat, such as Tasman Bay, scallop spat is seeded in an attempt to achieve a sustainable fishery.


  1. ^ a b Michael Arbuckle, Michael Metzger (2000). Food for thought. A brief history of the future of fisheries' management. Self Published: Challenger Scallop Enhancement Company. 
  2. ^ a b John Morton, Michael Miller (1973). The New Zealand Seashore, Second Edition. Auckland: Collins. 
  3. ^ Powell, A.W.B (1979). New Zealand Mollusca - Marine Land and Freshwater Shells. Auckland: Collins. 

External links

  • Scallop enhancement aquaculture
  • Sealord farming information
  • Tasman Bay map of scallop enhanced areas
  • New Zealand Organisms Register