Home > Invertebrates > Shells > Limpets

Updated 1/1/2014

Family Nacellidae

Limpets

Limpets have umbrella-like shells and graze upon algae on rocky shores.  Four endemic species in Hawaii.  Highly prized for food and quite rare due to harvesting.  Recently separated from the Family Patellidae.

 

HAWAII

Cellana sandwicensis  

HAWAIIAN LIMPET   'OPIHI 'ALINALINA

 

Cellana exarata 

DARK-FOOT LIMPET    'OPIHI MAKA-IA-ULI

Cellana talcosa   

TALC LIMPET    'OPIHI KO'ELE

 


Lottia sp.



LIMPET


Family Lottiidae

NORTHEAST PACIFIC

Lottia scutum

PLATE LIMPET

 

Lottia pelta

SHIELD LIMPET



Family Fissurellidae

Keyhole Limpets

Keyhole limpets have a perforated apex for waste products to exit and the mantle more or less envelops the shell, giving it a slug-like appearance in life.  The family is especially prolific in cool waters.

CALIFORNIA

Megathura crenulata

GIANT KEYHOLE LIMPET

 



Family Hipponicidae

Hoof Shells

Small limpet-shaped snails that secrete a shelly plate on hard substrate, either rock or gastropod snails.  Common but overlooked due to their small size.

HAWAII

Antisabia imbricatus

TILED HOOF SHELL

 

Pilosabia trigona

BEARDED HOOF SHELL

 

Sabia australis

AUSTRAL HOOF SHELL

 



Family Siphonariidae

Siphonarid Shells

Small limpet-like shells with a subtle gap or sinus on the right side.  They are air breathers lacking gills.

HAWAII

Siphonaria normalis

FALSE 'OPIHI

 



Family Haliotidae

Abalone

Abalone have bowl- or ear-like shells with a row of pores.  The interior is lined with mother-of-pearl.  Large species have been depleted in many parts of their natural range due to fishing.  A few species are being raised in captivity for sale or stock enhancement.  None occur in Hawaii.

NORTH PACIFIC

Haliotis kamshatkana

PINTO or NORTHERN ABALONE

 


JAPAN

Haliotis discus

DISK ABALONE   Kuro-awabi

 

Haliotis diversicolor

FALSE ABALONE  Tokobushi-awabi