This species appears to be endemic to the Mediterranean Sea, but it may in fact be conspecific with Pecten maximus, the great scallop, which has a larger distribution.
These scallops eat planktonic organisms and other floating food particles, which they obtain by filtering sea water with their gills.
Scallops of this species are collected commercially for human consumption using such techniques as the Rapido trawl.
In a Christian context, this species is considered to be the scallop which is traditionally associated with Saint James, also known as James, son of Zebedee, also known as Saint Jacob, hence the specific name jacobaeus. It is also known as the "Pilgrim's scallop".