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Fingered limpet colony

Lottia digitalis


This was one of my favorite finds on my latest trip to the north edge of the Olympic peninsula along the Strait Of Juan de Fuca. Lottia digitalis grows to 3 cm wide with an apex that is off center. Colors range from olive green to brown with white patches. They prefer to live on the vertical sides of rocks in the high intertidal and splash zones. The boulder that the limpets are on is a gravely conglomerate that was almost 2 meters tall and 4 meters wide and hosted several colonies of Lottia digitalis seen in (pic 2). The gravely conglomerate boulder is fairly rare here and was probably deposited by glacial till. I found only 3 like this one on this rocky beach.


Spotted on a large conglomerated rock along with other colonies. Extremely rocky shore with large rocks (pic 3).


Range from northern Alaska to northern Mexico.

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Brian38 2 years ago

Thanks Neil. I have read about those feeding excursions for some species. It's truly fascinating!

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 2 years ago

Cool spotting, Brian. I love how limpets have these little family gatherings. I discovered with an Australian limpet species that they return to the same home spot after each feeding excursion, using chemical sensors to retrace their mucous trail home. That would explain these clusters.

Spotted by

Washington, USA

Spotted on May 19, 2019
Submitted on May 26, 2019

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