Name: Common Limpet
Scientific name: Patella vulgata
Nature Stars: 30
About: Like other limpets, lives attached to stones or rocks around the lower and midshore. A greyish, conical shell, up to 7cm long. Feed on algae and seaweed that grows on the rocks, using their rasping tongue to graze.
Limpets are the cows of the sea shell world! They may seem welded in place while they're alive but they actually move around on the surface of rocks, grazing as they go. Their powerful, muscular 'foot' keeps them fixed in place when the tide goes out, helping them to keep moist until the water returns.
How to identify: There are three very similar species of limpet: the inside of the shell of Patella depressa has dark and pale radiating stripes and it is mainly found around the south of the country, while Patella ulssiponensis has an orange patch on the inside of its shell. Both these species are slightly smaller.
Where: Found on rocky shores right around our coasts.
Fantastic fact: Limpets move around over the rocks when the tide is in, but always return to their own favourite spot when the tide goes out.
Photograph credit: Photo credit tbc