Shield Limpet

Lottia pelta

Order: 

Patellogastropoda

Family: 

Lottiidae

Shield limpets are snail-like marine organisms that live within the rocky intertidal zone found in the places along the coast of the Americas to shores of places such as South Africa.  Predators of the shield limpets include crabs and birds.  In respect to crab predators, there was no correlation between limpet shell size and survivorship.  Instead, individual smooth-shell limpets experienced lower mortality (1).  While the Lottia pelta shells varies in size and color, studies have been conductied that display the benefits of algae growth on limpet shells.  A few benefits include the shielding from predators' sight and a reduction in the internal temperature increase of limpets.  The latter advantage is very helpful to the Lottia pelta since the limpets are locatd within the rocky intertidal zone that is exposed to extremely harsh and varies conditions (2).

(1) Tyler, C.L., Leighton, L.R., Kowalewski, M. (2014).  The effects of limpet morphology on predation by adult cacrid crabs. Journal of Experimental MArine Biology and Ecology, 451, 9-15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2013.10.022

(2) Seaborn, Travis, (2014). Limpets and Their Algal Epibionts: Costs and Benefits of spp and Growth. Journal of Marine Biology, 2014,7. DOI: 10.1155/2014/891943

Habitat:

  • Rocky Intertidal Zone