Posted: Nov 22 2009

 Spathochlamys benedicti (Verrill & Bush, 1897), Benedict's Scallop

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On 11/22/09 made the following post on Conch-L:

"Thanks to all who have been following my recent presentations of Florida Pectens and providing information, specimens and photos. I did several similar species that look similar, esp. when young, and just finished adding a discussion of Spathochlamys benedicti. Comments, esp. first-hand collecting information of S. benedicti in the Gulf, are solicited."

The following comments and information were made:

11/22 on Conch-L
Peggy Williams, author of Shallow Water Turridae of Florida and the Caribbean, contributed:

"You didn't mention the characteristic yellow umbo. I find this the easiest way to identify benedicti.

I have a rather large specimen (nickel sized) from a seamount off Honduras collected by my hand."


Marlo replied:

"Funny you should note that. It seemed to me that most of my shells did have some degree of yellow over the external umbonal area. However, since Abbott, Hartmann and Mikkelsen all noted the yellow on the interior and not the exterior; I thought maybe I had a skewed sample. Have others found this character to be consistent?"

11/23
Emilio Fabián García of Lafayette, LA, commented:

"Concerning Peggy's observation on the color of the umbonal area, I have specimens from off Fort Walton, off Louisiana and Campeche that lack such character."


Emilio also reported that "S. benedicti is found in all four quadrants of the Gulf of Mexico. I have 18 records in my collection."

He provided the following collecting details:

Off of Louisiana: Dredged from five locations at depths ranging from 60-70 meters.

Off Florida: Dredged from nine offshore locations between Ft. Meyers and Panama City from depths of 40 – 230 meters.

Off Campeche Banks, Mexico: Dredged from three differing locations at depths ranging from 42-64 meters.

Off N. Yucatan, off Contoy Light, Mexico: Trawled from about 50 meters.


Linda Brunner commented about her experience with yellow coloration over the exterior umbones:

"We found many S. benedicti when the scallopers were dredging off shore in the gulf. We have all colors and many with chevron markings. Most were found embedded in sponge that was growing on Spondylus americanus. I looked at about 75 this morning and all have pale umbones that are yellow or a washed out yellow ( it appears white or cream) that is hard to determine due to the contrast in colors."


Doug Shelton, Malacologist Alabama Malacological Research Center, volunteered that:

"I have a series of Spathochlamys benedicti taken from deep water off Alabama."


Harry Lee, author of Marine Shells of Northeast Florida 2009 provided this insight:

"The species is common outside the ten-fathom line off Jax.

Here's what I wrote on Marine shells of northeast FL:

Waller (1993) erected Spathochlamys with this as its type species. Although Pecten munda Reeve, 1853 is a senior synonym, it is a junior homonym and therefore unavailable."


Harry also provided the following image of a color series of this species (NE FL).
Photo credit Charlotte Lloyd; copyright Jacksonville Shell Club, Inc., with permission of the author.