Patella vulgata


Like other limpets, the Common Limpet lives attached to stones or rocks around the lower and midshore. It feeds on algae and seaweed that grows on the rocks, using its rasping tongue to graze.

How to identify

There are three very similar species of limpet: the inside of the shell of Patella depressa has dark and pale radiating stripes and it is mainly found around the south of the country, while Patella ulssiponensis has an orange patch on the inside of its shell. Both these species are slightly smaller than Patella vulgaria. The Common Limpet has a greyish, conical shell.

Where to find it

Found on rocky shores all around our coasts.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Limpets and other molluscs provide a vital link in the food chain for many of our rarer species. Our seas and coastline are in need of protection if we are to keep our marine wildlife healthy. The Wildlife Trusts are working with fishermen, researchers, politicians and local people towards a vision of 'Living Seas', where marine wildlife thrives. This work has recently had a massive boost with the passing of the Marine Bill, promising sustainable development of the UK's marine environment. Do your bit for our Living Seas by supporting your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Patella vulgata
Aquatic gastropods (e.g. sea snails)
Length: 4cm Lifespan: 10-20 years
Conservation status