The Meta Keyhole Limpet
The Meta Keyhole Limpet, Diodora meta (Ihering, 1927), is a locally rare and elusive gastropod, also found in other parts of the Gulf of Mexico and of the western Atlantic Ocean. Its shell measures about 12 mm (0.5 inch), and has a roundish “keyhole” orifice that distinguishes the species from others in the area. Keyhole Limpets cling to hard surfaces; the orifice helps redirect water containing body wastes away from the head and gills of the animal. The Shell Museum collection has only two shells of this species from the local area, both collected by Susan J. Hewitt, respectively in December 2014 and December 2015. Check the Shell Museum web site for more information about local shells.
Shell in photo was collected at Blind Pass, Captiva side, on December 2015. Photos by José H. Leal.