Speckled Limpet      Notoacmea persona

Speckled Limpets are marine snails with oval shaped, uncoiled shells that occur on hard surfaces in the high intertidal zone.  They can grow up to 1.5 inches in length.  They are highly variable in their surface decoration as can be seen on the individuals in the photograph.  This species of limpet has a high peak to its shell which separates it from  a related species that is flatter and occurs lower in the intertidal zone.

Speckled Limpets and their kin are herbivores, eating small algae and diatoms that cover the hard surface on which they live.  They use their teeth-covered tongues to remove the algae.  This particular species likes to forage under low light conditions.  So it is usually found under boulders or north facing hard surfaces.  When not grazing on algae individuals tend to cluster together.

They use their foot to not only move about in their aquatic pasture, but to cling tightly to the hard surface so that waves or a hunting bird can't dislodge them.