Ansates pellucida, Patella pellucida, blue-rayed limpet

photo: dejayM

Ansates pellucida, Patella pellucida, blue-rayed limpet

photo: ifremer

Habitat: eastern Atlantic coasts from Iceland and Norway, to Portugal. It is absent from the Baltic Sea, East Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands
Status: No Conservation Concerns

Looking more like a living opal than a mollusk, the Blue-rayed Limpet (Patella pellucida) can be found living on kelp in the eastern Atlantic. The animal reaches a maximum length of 15mm and can be easily identified by its amber shell embroidered with iridescent blue spots laid in a line.

You might be wondering what has the gall to go after such a beautiful creature and turn it into limpet lunch. Can you take a guess? Surprisingly (or maybe not, depending on who you are) starfish are quite the active hunters of limpets. They’ll saunter on up with their arms outstretched, ready to flip one over and eat the delicious meat underneath. However, limpets won’t go down without a fight. No sir-e! What they do is “mushroom up” and then lower their bodies back down onto the starfishs’ arms, effectively stomping them until they decide the tiny limpet isn’t worth the trouble.

You can watch a Starfish vs. Limpet fight here (though this is a different species, not the Blue-rayed Limpet)


and another (round 2!):