Animal Species:Limpets

Several species of limpets are found on Sydney's rocky shores.

A collection of Limpets Cellana tramoserica

Dr Isobel Bennett © Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

Limpet

Identification

Limpets have a tent-shaped shell that is almost impossible to dislodge from rocks.

Size range

5 cm

Distribution

Limpets are found in the temperate waters of southern Australia, including southern Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia to Western Australia.

Habitat

Limpets are found on intertidal rocky shores.

Feeding and Diet

Limpets are often found in dense groups on intertidal rock platforms feeding on algae.

Feeding Habit

algal-feeder

What does this mean?

Other behaviours and adaptations

To avoid drying out, limpets scour a 'home base' with their shell edge and trap a bubble of water underneath. They may travel more than 1 m from their home base, scraping algae off the rocks during high tide before returning at low tide. Interestingly, they always return to the same position each time, retracing the scent of their mucous trail.

Limpets play an important role in rock-platform ecology, as many intertidal species have free-swimming larvae that need bare rock on which to settle and mature. A reduction in the number of limpets would lead to an increase in the amount of algae on the rocks, which would affect the abundance of other rock-platform animals.

Classification

Species:
tramoserica
Genus:
Cellana
Family:
Nacellidae
Order:
Patellogastropoda
Phylum:
Mollusca
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?


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Tags limpets, shellfish, invertebrates, gastropods, molluscs, gastropoda, mollusca, identification, wildlife of sydney,

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