Photos from Northern Norway: A photo blog

An unique view from the Arctic

Photos from Northern Norway: A photo blog header image 2

Macro picture of common limpet (Patella vulgata) covered with barnacles (Semibalanus balanoides)

February 29th, 2008 · 10 Comments

Macro picture of common limpet (Patella vulgata) covered with barnacles
Taken with Olympus E500 digital camera February 28th 2008. Click image for larger view.
In this macro picture you can see a common limpet (Patella vulgata) covered with barnacles (Semibalanus balanoides) at low tide. The limpets are snails that feed on algae living on hard rock and stones. They are able adhere themselves strongly to hard surfaces and can be very hard to peel off if they sense danger.
I have been watching some TV-shows by the survivalist Ray Mears where he use a stick to whack them off using the surprise factor. I will have to try to cook some limpets later this year and I will report back here on how they taste 😉
If you look in the background you can see another limpet waiting for the tide to come back in.
The barnacles (Semibalanus balanoides) seem to get a free ride with the limpet, but I’m guessing the limpet is glad for having some extra camouflage.

Check out this photo of the shell of a limpet filled with small pieces of sand. The inside have some beautiful structures and colors.

Information about the picture:
Camera: Olympus E-500 digital SLR camera
Exposure: 0.013 sec (1/80)
Aperture: f/9
Focal Length: 35 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Lens: Olympus Zuiko Digital 35mm F3.5 Macro
Location: Laupstad (Andørja), Troms in northern Norway

Tags: Coast · Limpet · Macro · Nature · Norway Norwegen Norge · Sea Ocean · Shells · Shore · Snail

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tom @ Ohio Nature // Feb 29, 2008 at 12:37 pm


    Mmmmm…limpets. I wonder if you could just pop them straight down like an oyster? Perhaps they would be tasty in a soup, perhaps a limpet chowder? I’m guessing they wouldn’t taste all that different from an oyster. I always found it amazing that space is at such a premium in the ocean that animals live on top of each other. Great shot.

  • 2 Thomas L // Feb 29, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Hi Tom 🙂

    From what Ray Mears said they are a bit different and quite chewy!
    The good thing is that they are much safer to eat than shells who filtrate water.

  • 3 Bobbie // Feb 29, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    We have a similar limpet here in Hawaii. The Hawaiian name for limpets is “opihi” and it’s a very popular food in the ethnic Hawaiian culture. They are indeed chewy, though, and can have quite a strong flavor.

    They’re interesting critters, and sure can hang on to shoreline rocks like nothing else. Both of your limpet shots — the one with the barnacles, and the older one of the inside of the shell — are terrific, Thomas. (We love our macro!)

  • 4 Cindy // Feb 29, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    Your pictures are awesome! And what a beautiful place to live!

  • 5 Joy // Feb 29, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    Your photos are absolutely amazing! They’re a breath of fresh air.

  • 6 jake // Mar 1, 2008 at 8:18 am

    Now we have in Germany popularity news site .. They increase blog/site traffic through your blog/site messages. Go to

  • 7 Earl // Mar 2, 2008 at 3:24 am

    Wonderful macro! The light is great.

  • 8 lizzie // Mar 8, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    Hi Tom! Thanks for visiting my blog. Your pictures are beautiful…thank you for transporting me for a little bit. I love this one.


  • 9 Kyle Zawada // Sep 4, 2008 at 9:41 am

    Hey, great shot. I love macro photo’s and once I get my new camera, I’m hoping to delve into it myself!
    I’m currently writing a biology report on limpets, more specifically patella vulgata and was wondering if you could give me permission to use it?
    it would be of great help and you would be cited in the bibliography.

    Much appreciated 😀


  • 10 rock climbing III - more bouldering - The Photo Forum - Photography Discussion Forum // Feb 24, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    […] and seal themselves to a rock, then stay there, as far as I know, for the rest of their lives … Here’s a pic of one that I found on the web __________________ The Photo Album – my collection of travel & motorsport […]