|Limpet species can sometimes be identified by the shell pattern and shape. Not so easily when they're old, though; the surface gets battered and broken. The limpet inside is fine.|
|Young limpet, wearing a pale checkerboard pattern. Note the off-centre peak. Possibly a shield limpet, Lottia pelta*. And, lower left, an elongated, more delicate limpet.|
In the aquarium, I can push sideways, gently, at a limpet on the glass. Its grip is weaker on this smooth surface, and I can slide it down to a spot I've already cleaned, without removing it from the glass. On a stone or shell, it's fixed in place; I can't move it without killing it.
On the beach, at low tide, they may as well be part of the stones they're clamped to.
|The top limpet, a young'un, is probably the Mask limpet, Tectura persona. In the centre, a baby clam. I don't know what it's doing there.|
|A bashed, cracked,porous limpet shell. The peak is well to one side; the owner may be a slippersnail.|
|Another oldster. The pattern is almost gone, and the peak is off-centre. Another Mask, possibly.|
|The green colour is painted by algae. There's still a few hints of the original checkerboard pattern.|
All these limpets were found in an area a few steps wide on the shore of Tyee Spit. I replaced the stones exactly as I found them; most of the limpets were hiding in the shade.
*Any of my limpet ids are extremely tentative.