LimpetCellana radiata

  • Rocky Shores
  • Mollusc
  • Gastropod


C. radiata is a mollusc species part of the Nacellidae family of true limpets. The latter are characterized by flattened, cone-shaped shells that are marked by radiating ribs and concentric marks. C. radiata has a rather flattened shell and measures up 4 centimetres[1]. It has numerous fine, granular ridges. Its shell is light brown and the concentric marks are darker. The interior of the shell is pale yellow.  


[1] Richmond, Matthew (ed.). 2011. A fieldguide to the seashores of Eastern Africa and the Western Indian Ocean islands. Sida/WIOMSA.

Habitat and ecology

Cellana radiata is found throughout the Indo-Pacific region, where it dwells on rocks in the littoral fringe up to a depth of 2 meters. Like other limpets, the species feeds by grazing on algae growing on rocks in the intertidal zone. Spawning occurs once a year; larvae are pelagic for approximately two weeks before they settle on a hard substrate. In contrast to some other rocky shore animals, limpets are capable of moving. However, their muscular foot combined with an adhesive mucus helps them cling very firmly to the surface in order to resist strong wave action, although they are mostly sessile organisms.


Conservation and management

Cellana radiata is common throughout its range; it is not currently assessed by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Nonetheless, limpets like other gastropod molluscs may be affected by the acidification of oceans due to climate change, which may weaken not only their outer shell but also their radula. It may also be affected by habitat modification.

Did you know?

Limpets are hermaphrodites and undergo sex change during life. They become male at about 9 months, but after a couple of years they change sex to become female.[1]


[1] Smith, Sherry Weaver. 2002. Learning about Limpets . Accessed July 2018.