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Flame Scallop
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith
Scallops
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Lima scabra

Flame Scallop

Quick Stats:   Flame Scallop

Family: Limidae
Range: Caribbean
Size: Up to 3 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Tank Set-up: Marine: Rocks, sand
Reef Compatible: Yes
Tank Conditions: 72-78ºF; sg 1.023-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4
Temperament: Peaceful
Venomous: No
Care Level: Difficult


The Flame Scallop, also called the Red Flame Scallop or Red File Shell Clam, has a bright red mantel with red or white tentacles. The shell of the various Flame Scallops is covered with fine bumps, making it feel like a file.

The Flame Scallop builds a small nest of small rocks and pieces of coral in which it embeds itself. In an aquarium, this may not offer much protection. When threatened, it may escape by clapping its valves together, propelling it through the water, with assistance from its tentacles. It tolerates all animals that do not try to eat it, and can be kept in groups. It is a filter feeder, and requires floating micro-plankton to be kept alive in the aquarium, and will do best in a mature reef aquarium system. It also needs proper calcium levels and alkalinity. It does not tolerate nitrates or copper-based medications.

It requires supplementation with phytoplankton, and organic foods (Marine Snow or Selcon) provided by using a small pipette/straw to dispense the food upstream of its location. Each Flame Scallop needs to be fed individually.

 

Photo courtesy of T.F.H. Publications, publishers of the Burgess Atlas.

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