Cymbula oculus

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Cymbula oculus
Cymbula oculus 01.JPG
Five views of a shell of Cymbula oculus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Patellogastropoda
Superfamily: Patelloidea
Family: Patellidae
Genus: Cymbula
Species: C. oculus
Binomial name
Cymbula oculus
(Born, 1778)

Patella oculus Born, 1778[1]

Cymbula oculus is a species of sea snail, a true limpet, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Patellidae, one of the families of true limpets.[2]


The shell is low, and a dull brown on the outside. It has about 10 major ribs. The margin of the interior is broad and black, with a light pinkish brown centre. Juveniles are yellow with iridescent green flecks. Attains up to 100mm length.[3]


South coast of South Africa.[3]


Inhabits the rocky mid-shore zone.[3]


Protandrous hermaphrodite, changing to female at about 2 to 3 years. Consumes algae, and large individuals defend themselves by clamping down their shell edges on the predators. Commensal flatworm Notoplana patellarum lives in the gill cavity under the shell. Harvested for food in the Transkei (Eastern Cape).[3]


  1. ^ Born, I. 1778. Index rerum naturalium Musei Cæsarei Vindobonensis. Pars Testacea. Verzeichniß der natürlichen Seltenheiten des k. k. Naturalien Cabinets zu Wien. Erster Theil. Schalthiere. Vindobonæ: Kraus. [1-40] + 1-458 + [1-82]. (in Latin and German language)
  2. ^ Cymbula oculus (Born, 1778).  Retrieved through: World Register of Marine Species on 8 April 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d Branch, G.M., Branch, M.L, Griffiths, C.L. and Beckley, L.E. (2010). Two Oceans: a guide to the marine life of southern Africa Struik Nature, Cape Town. ISBN 978 1 77007 772 0

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