Volcano Limpet

Fissurella volcano





The volcano keyhole limpet can be found on the rocky intertidal zone where it feeds on benthic micro algae and potentially some macroalgal fronds (1).  In general, the geographic distribution of this particular species can be found from northern California through the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico (1,2).  When characterizing this specific keyhole limpet,  adults measure up to approximately 2.5-4.1 cm with a keyhole-shaped pore on the apex of its conical shell (1). While there is not much information that is based upon the ecological role of the volcano keyhole limpet within rocky reefs, decreasing numbers of this species indicates negative anthropogenic impacts on the environment (1,2).  Studies have been conducted about the correlation between tidal height and the shell size of volcano limpets (3).  Findings include that small limpets with higher surface-to-volume ratios are more likely to desiccate in higher tidal heights unlike limpets with larger shells (3).

(1) Granados, T.R., Spencer, P.M., Zaragoza, E.S., Del Proo, S.G. (2007). LARVAL AND EARLY JUVENILE DEVELOPMENT OF THE VOLCANO KEYHOLE LIMPET, FISSURELLA VOLCANO. BioOne, 26(1), 65-70. https://doi.org/10.2983/0730-8000(2007)26[43:LAEJDO]2.0.CO;2

(2) Cisneros, K.L., Villarreal, A.M., Miranda-Saucedo, C.M., Hernandez, U.A., Beltones, D.S., Zaragoza, E.S. (2017).  Diet of the VOlcano Keyhole Limpet Fissurella volcano (Gastropoda: Fissurellidae) in Subtropical Rocky Reefs of the Baja California Peninsula. BioOne, 71(1), 57-66.  https://doi.org/10.2984/71.1.5

(3) Hobday, A. (1994). Body-size variation exhibited by an intertidal limpet: Influence of wave exposure, tidal height and migratory behavior. Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 189(1), 29-45.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-0981(95)00009-G

(Photographs) Peter J. Bryant, University of California, Irvine


  • Rocky Intertidal Zone