Rocky Residents
By Stella Bennett
Published: 07/01/2008  Updated: 08/08/2019

A variety of limpets can be found in rocky intertidal areas.

One of the common creatures you may find in coastal tidepools and intertidal areas is the limpet. A relative of the snail, the limpet is also a common beachcombing find with a shell that looks like a pointed hat. Live limpets can be found in rocky intertidal areas, from the high tide line to subtidal pools where its one powerful foot fastens it firmly to a rock. Limpets found in turbulent waters usually have a lower profile shell, while those found in calmer waters often have a higher profile. Several varieties of limpets can be found in the Northwest, usually in sizes smaller than two inches. The White Cap Limpet has a tall shell that often becomes covered with a pink encrusting coral on which it feeds. Another type you might find is the Rough Keyhole Limpet that looks like a small volcano with a hole on the top. Other limpet varieties have ribbed shells. Many limpets travel to feed on algae only at night when their mortal enemy, the sea star, can't find them. See how many varieties of limpets you can discover, but never remove a live limpet from its rocky home.
Rocky Residents