Fyne Pioneer, Loch Fyne

Site Name: The Flame Shells - Loch Fyne

Dive Site Info

There are lots of flame shells (Limaria hians) to be seen at this site. They inhabit the sand and gravel seabed at depths of 10-12m.


This extensive flame shell bed of 50 hectares was recorded at Otter Spit, Loch Fyne, with around half the bed exhibiting nest coverage values greater than 50%. Fyne Pioneer was involved in the survey of this flame shell reef with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) in summer 2012. The flame shell resembles a scallop with a bright orange fringe of filaments emerging from between the valve of its shell. The bivalves make sticky threads which bind stones and pieces of shell debris into a felt-lined nest. Holes in the reef allow fresh seawater to flow through, preventing stagnation. The live animals cannot be seen unless the mat-like nest is torn open.

When to dive

Can be dived at any state of the tide.

The Flame Shells - Loch Fyne - Fyne Pioneer

© Becky Hitchin

The stunning orange flame shell (Limaria hians)