Black Limpet

Lottia asmi





Lottia asmi are unassuming small gray brown sea snails with interesting natural history. Up to 1 cm long and 8 mm high, L. asmi lack distinguishing ridges and have a smooth black interior (1). L. asmi live on other host shells, preferring turban snails, mussels, and goose barnacles and avoiding empty shells (1). They can also be found on rocks. Living on another organism’s shells limits L. asmi’s size but also affects their color (2). Pigments in L. asmi food source, microalgae, can change their coloration, with different coloration found on different substrates due to differing types of algae (2).


(1) Cowles, D. (n.d.). Lottia asmi (Middendorf, 1847).

(2) Lindberg, D. R., & Pearse, J. S. (1990). Experimental manipulation of shell color and morphology of the limpets Lottia asmi (Middendorff) and Lottia digitalis (Rathke) (Mollusca: Patellogastropoda). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 140(3), 173-185. doi:10.1016/0022-0981(90)90125-v



  • rocky intertidal