|A live individual of Tectura palacea on a blade of Phyllospadix surfgrass. Anterior end of the limpet to the left|
Tectura palacea, common names the "surfgrass limpet" or "chaffy limpet", also spelled "chaffey limpet", is a species of small sea snail, a true limpet, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Lottiidae.
The shell of this small limpet is about 6–10 mm in length and 2–3 mm in width. The shell dimensions are narrow to correspond with the limpet's habitat: the narrow blades of surfgrasses in the genus Phyllospadix, found at low tide levels. This species occurs in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, on the coast of North America, from Vancouver Island, British Columbia to northern Baja California, Mexico.
These small limpets graze on the film of microscopic algae that covers the leaf blades of the marine plant Phyllospadix. As can be seen in the accompanying photos, the limpet scrapes off this algal film, leaving a clear trail on the surface of the blade behind it.
- McLean J. H. (1978) Marine Shells of Southern California. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Museum, Science Series 24, Revised Edition: 1-104.
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