Limpet in The Clouds

Limpet in The Clouds

My head was in the clouds (isn’t that what my high school teachers used to say) as I was taking photos of the landscape and clouds on Cayo Costa. I stopped taking photos and waited for the clouds to build a little higher to fit in the full frame of the camera. This is when I looked down and noticed a Limpet. I thought “Oh, look at this key hole limpet!” Then I realized it wasn’t a key hole limpet. It reminded me of the limpets in Panama. However it was not the same. Humm, Then the cloud I had been waiting for to build up was perfect for the photo. I quickly put the limpet in my shirt pocket and continued taking photos. Like so many of my prized little treasures I find on the beach, it went through the wash cycle in the washing machine. I didn’t remember it was in my shirt pocket until it was half way through the dry cycle. I ran quickly to the dryer and pulled out my shirt and just knew it was broke. Somehow it made it out in one piece. Ahh! I have never found this type of limpet before. It was a first. I have been trying to figure out exactly what kind it is. If you have found one like this,  I would love to know where and of course what kind.  Who knows what you can discover when your head is in the clouds.
Brian Holaway

I have been a Shelling Guide to Cayo Costa State Park since 1995. Many people know me as the Shelling Guide and Captain with Captiva Cruises over the past 20 years. In 2016 I began solely offering private small boat charters to the islands of Pine Island Sound including Cayo Costa State Park, Cabbage Key, Useppa Island, Pine Island and North Captiva. I am a certified Florida Master Naturalist, licensed USCG Captain, avocational photographer, seashell enthusiast and passionate about the history, people and culture of Southwest Florida, especially Cayo Costa. I volunteer as a member of Friends of Cayo Costa State Park and have great respect for the heritage of Cayo Costa. My goal is to provide guests with an overall experience and appreciation for the waters, islands, shells, plants, marine life, wildlife, history and people of this unique area of Southwest Florida.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 12:41h, 12 August

    Hello Captain Brian,

    What you found is the shell of a striped false limpet, Siphonaria pectinata. They grow as large as 1 inch in length. They don't have gills; they breathe air instead. You can find images of the shell and the live animal and more info at:

    I live in NYC but will be coming to Sanibel for the first time this December. I hope maybe I will see you there!

    Susan H.

  • JoJo
    Posted at 12:41h, 12 August

    Hi Brian,
    It looks like Say's False Limpet – I've seen a few down here on the SE coast.

  • Capt. Brian Holaway
    Posted at 02:16h, 21 August

    Thank you for all the help in identifying this shell. Capt.Brian