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Overview

Brief Summary

Limpets look like a cross between a pyramid and Super Mario's vicious mushrooms. They are often overlooked when attached to a stone and they move incredibly slowly. Limpets scrape vegetation off of the stones with their grating tongue. Should it feel threatened, it clamps itself to the rock. It closes the shell off practically air-tight, so that crabs and curious people can't get to them. You find limpets on floating objects from other coasts, such as on the base of sea thong.
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Biology

Although they may seem to be fixed to the rock, common limpets actually move around to graze on algae during moist conditions or when they are submerged by the tide. They return to the same spot by following the mucus trail that they deposit. This spot becomes worn by the edges of the shell, and eventually an obvious 'scar' in the rock is created. This helps the limpet to attach even more tenaciously to the rock, a strategy that protects it from desiccation (2). Common limpets begin their life as males, becoming sexually mature at around 9 months of age. Most individuals undergo a sex change, typically becoming female at 2 or 3 years of age, although some remain as males (3). Spawning takes place once a year, usually from October to December, although the timing varies around the British Isles (2). Fertilisation occurs externally; the larvae spend their first few days of life in the water column, after which time they settle on the shore (2). Life-span varies, but is between 10 and 20 years (3). In many areas, limpets have been collected as a food source for many centuries (3).
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Description

The common limpet is a well-known seashore species (2). It has a conical shell, the outer surface of which is greyish-white. Shells situated higher up on the shore tend to have taller shells than those on the lower shore (3). The underside of the muscular 'foot' on which the limpet moves around is yellow, orange or brown and often has a green or greyish tint (3).
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Comprehensive Description

Description

 The conical shell of Patella vulgata is up to 6 cm long with radiating ridges and the apex central or slightly anterior. Individuals from the high shore generally have a taller shell and smaller shell length when compared to juveniles and low shore animals. The outer surface of the shell is greyish white or ashen, sometimes with a yellow tint, and has coarse radiating ridges and well-marked growth lines. The inner surface is smooth and greenish-grey in colour. The sole of the foot is yellowish, dull orange or brown with a grey or greenish tinge. The mantle skirt is fringed with translucent pallial tentacles arranged in three series of different lengths, internal to which lies a complete circlet of pallial gills.
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Distribution

Al the specimens in the samples of the Belgian coasts were determined as P. vulgata , probably there are a few misidentifications: also present P. depressa and P. aspera .
  • Backeljau, T. (1986). Lijst van de recente mariene mollusken van België [List of the recent marine molluscs of Belgium]. Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor Natuurwetenschappen: Brussels, Belgium. 106 pp.
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Range

Found on all coasts of Britain and Ireland. Its distribution extends from the Arctic Circle in the north to Portugal in the south (3).
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Physical Description

Type Information

Unconfirmed type for Patella vulgata Linnaeus, 1758
Catalog Number: USNM 178095
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Dry
  • Unconfirmed type:
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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 294 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 68 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 3.5
  Temperature range (°C): 11.471 - 12.348
  Nitrate (umol/L): 4.729 - 7.121
  Salinity (PPS): 35.184 - 35.363
  Oxygen (ml/l): 6.069 - 6.200
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.336 - 0.439
  Silicate (umol/l): 2.315 - 3.285

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 3.5

Temperature range (°C): 11.471 - 12.348

Nitrate (umol/L): 4.729 - 7.121

Salinity (PPS): 35.184 - 35.363

Oxygen (ml/l): 6.069 - 6.200

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.336 - 0.439

Silicate (umol/l): 2.315 - 3.285
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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 Patella vulgata is found wherever there is substratum firm enough for its attachment on rocks, stones and in rock pools, from the high shore to the sublittoral fringe. It is abundant on all rocky shores of all degrees of wave exposure although the highest densities of Patella vulgata coincide with wave exposed conditions. The species is usually not abundant on shores with a dense growth of seaweed. Patella vulgata extends into estuaries, surviving salinities down to about 20 psu.
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Attaches to firm substrates including rocks and stones from the high shore down to the edge of the sublittoral zone, a marine zone which reaches depths of around 200m (3).
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Evolution and Systematics

Functional Adaptations

Functional adaptation

Mineral crystals enhance cutting ability: limpet
 

The radula of Patella limpets has cutting tips that incorporate magnetite crystals and silicon dioxide.

       
  "Another mollusk, the limpet Patella, backs the magnetite cutting tips of its radula with silicon dioxide (Runham et al. 1969). Incidentally, mollusks renew their radulas from the back as they wear near the front much the way elephants renew their teeth." (Vogel 2003:333)

"Most classes in the phylum of the Mollusca possess a radula, a flexible  ribbon, located in the mouth cavity, on which are implanted several  tens of transverse rows of teeth. The radula is used as a rasp during  feeding of organisms living on rocky substrates. Through the continuous  growth of the radular ribbon new rows of teeth steadily enter into the  wearing zone, while at the same rate teeth in the last row break loose  from the ribbon. The enhanced erosive capability of the radula is due to  the presence of teeth with an upright standing, hard, mineralized  cusp." (van der Wal et al. 2000)
  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Steven Vogel. 2003. Comparative Biomechanics: Life's Physical World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 580 p.
  • Runham, NW; Thornton, PR; Shaw, DA; Wayte, RC. 1969. Mineralization and hardness of the radular teeth of the limpet Patella vulgata. Z. Zelforsch. 99: 608-626.
  • Van Der Wal, P.; Giesen, H. J.; Videler, J. J. 2000. Radular teeth as models for the improvement of industrial cutting devices. Materials Science and Engineering C. 7(2): 129-142.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Patella vulgata

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 11 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

ACATTATATATTATTTTAGGGATATGGGCAGGTTTAGTAGGGACCGGGCTC---AGTATGTTAATTCGAGCCGAACTTGGTCAACCAGGTGCCCTCTTAGGGGAC---GACCAACTTTACAATGTTATTGTCACAGCCCATGCTTTTGTTATAATTTTTTTTCTAGTTATACCTATAATGATTGGAGGCTTTGGTAATTGGTTAGTCCCTCTTATA---CTTGGGGCTCCTGATATAGCTTTTCCCCGATTAAATAATATAAGATTTTGACTTCTTCCTCCCTCTCTTTTTCTTCTCCTGGCCAGAAGAGCTGTTGAAGGCGGGGTAGGTACAGGCTGAACAGTCTATCCCCCTCTCTCGTCAAACGTTGCTCATTCAGGCCCATCAGTAGATCTA---GCTATTTTTTCTCTTCACTTAGCTGGTGCCTCATCGATCCTAGGGGCTGCTAATTTCATTAGAACAGCAGCAAATATTCGCTGAGAAGCTATACAACTTGAACGAATACCCTTATTTGTCTGATCCGTAAAAGTAACAGCTATTTTATTACTTTTATCCCTACCTGTCCTAGCCGGG---GCAATTACTATACTATTAACTGATCGTAATTTTAACACTTGTTTCTTTGACCCCAGGGGAGGCGGTGACCCTGTTCTTTATCAGCATCTT------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------TTT
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Patella vulgata

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 11
Specimens with Barcodes: 17
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

Status

Common and widespread.
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Threats

Not currently threatened.
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Management

Conservation

Conservation action has not been targeted at this species.
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Wikipedia

Patella vulgata

Patella vulgata, common name the common limpet or common European limpet[1] is an edible species of sea snail with gills, a typical true limpet, a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Patellidae. This species is found in the waters of western Europe.[2]

The radula in this species is longer than the shell itself. It contains 1920 teeth in 160 rows of 12 teeth each. It is found attached to firm substrates from the high shore to the edge of the sublittoral zone, although it predominates in areas of wave action. Its shell is conical, up to around 6 cm long, and lacks defined chirality. Common limpets are believed to be able to live for up to twenty years.[3]

Patella vulgata has been the focus of a range of scientific investigation, as far back as 1935.[4] Its development is well described[5] and it has recently been the focus of transcriptomic investigation, providing a range of genomic sequence data in this species for analysis.[6]

See also[edit]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.manandmollusc.net/molluscan_food_files/molluscan_food_6.html
  2. ^ Oliver, A.P.H. (2004). Guide to Seashells of the World. Buffalo: Firefly Books. 28.
  3. ^ "Limpets". BritishSeaFishing.co.uk. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Smith, F (1935). "The Development of Patella vulgata". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences 225 (520): 95–125. 
  5. ^ Damen, Peter; Dictus, Wim J.A.G. "Cell Lineage of the Prototroch of Patella vulgata (Gastropoda, Mollusca)". Developmental Biology 162 (2): 364–383. doi:10.1006/dbio.1994.1094. 
  6. ^ Werner, Gijsbert D. A.; Gemmell, Patrick; Grosser, Stefanie; Hamer, Rebecca; Shimeld, Sebastian M. "Analysis of a deep transcriptome from the mantle tissue of Patella vulgata Linnaeus (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Patellidae) reveals candidate biomineralising genes". Marine Biotechnology. doi:10.1007/s10126-012-9481-0. 
  • Lespinet, Nederbragt, Cassan, Dictus, Van Loon, et al. Characterisation of two snail genes in the gastropod mollusc Patella vulgata. Implications for understanding the ancestral function of the snail-related genes in Bilateria. 2002.
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