|The Common Limpet|
Scientic name: Patella vulgata
is also known as the common limpet, recognized
for its extensive range in the northeast Atlantic. It inhabits
the coasts of Europe from Norway through Portugal as well as Bermuda.
is the largest limpet in Europe, growing up to 7 cm in diameter and 3
cm in height. It has a conical shell with a central or slightly
anterior apex. The shell has clear growth rings as well as
radiating ridges. Its pallial tentacles that encirlce the edge of
the shell are transparent. Shells are greyish white with red or
yellow markings (Figure 1).
lives in rocky intertidal zones, usually with little seaweed cover,
from high shore barnacle zone to the edge of the sublittoral. It
is found in every type of habitat from rough, waveo-exposed shores to
calm estuaries. Common limpets exhibit strong homing behavior,
returning to home scars after foraging excursions. Over time they
grind the stone around their homesites until their shells match the
rock shape. Foraging behavior differs in P. vulgata
based on microhabitat: individuals forage diurnally whilst submerged on
horizontal rock while individuals on vertical rock forage
nocturnally whilst emersed (Figure 2). P. vulgata is a generalist that grazes on diatoms, blue-green algae, sporelings of macroalgae, and detritus.
Hartnoll and Wright 1977; Williams et al., 1999; Gray and Hogdson 1998;
Hill 2008; PzNow 2008; Common Limpet 2008a; Common Limpet 2008b.
Figure 1. Conical, textured shells of P. vulgata
Figure 2. Submersed P. vulgata foraging on horizontal rock