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  • José H. Leal

The Rosy Keyhole Limpet

The Rosy Keyhole Limpet, Fissurella rosea (Gmelin, 1791), is one of the most common species of keyhole limpets in the western Atlantic and Caribbean region. This species, however, is only very rarely found on our barrier islands. The shell is oval, and the orifice (“keyhole”) is also oval and reinforced internally by a callus, which is in turn delimited by a reddish-pink line. Shell colors and patterns vary, but mostly consist of reddish-brown radial bands of distinctive widths set on a lighter-colored background. The internal shell surface is greenish. The limpet illustrated was found by National Shell Museum’s own Austin Salender, during one the Museum beach walks at Island Inn on Sanibel. The only other record of the species from our area in the Museum collection consists of two shells collected in 1957 by William Brumbach on Sanibel!

The Rosy Keyhole Limpet, Fissurella rosea, from Sanibel. Photos by José H. Leal.

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