Scallops are hermaphroditic meaning that are capable of switching sexes. Both sexes produce coloring depends upon the parent's (current) sex. The Red roe is that of a female, and white, that of a male. The spermatozoa and ova of these particular fellows are released freely into the water during mating season and fertilized ova sink to the bottom. After several weeks, the immature scallop hatches and the larvae drift until settling to the bottom again to grow. They reach sexual maturity after several years, though they may not reach a commercially harvestable size until six to eight years of age. Scallops may live up to 18 years, depending on the rings of their shells.