Black Keyhole Limpet, Amblychilepas nigrita
The Black Keyhole Limpet's shell is a longish oblong in shape. It is flattened, with a raised front and raised rear edges. The oval hole (keyhole) is just behind the middle. The length of the hole is one fifth of shell length. Its gill filaments stick out of this hole.
The shell interior is smooth, with a strong ridge at the edge margin. The Keyhole edge also has a distinct thickened rim.
The animal is twice as long as the shell, so it cannot fit within its shell.
The Black Keyhole limpet's shell exterior is brown, grey or fawn, with irregular rays of dark brown. The shell interior is white or bluish, with pale brown rays. The animal is pink to pale brown in colour.
The Black Keyhole Limpet is endemic to southern Australia. This means that it is only found here. It occurs in temperate Australia, including New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia & Western Australia.
The Black Keyhole Limpet occurs at mid to low-tide and below, on exposed and semi-protected rocky shores. It is found under rocks and stones.
The Black Keyhole Limpet is an attractive mollusc which is easily identified by its oblong-oval shaped shell, marked with a distinctive lattice sculpture. The animal is twice as long as the shell. The animal's gills poke out through the keyhole in the shell.
It is also called Sophismalepas nigrita, or the Calloused Keyhole Limpet.
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