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FAQs about Limpet Snails, Acmaeidae, Fissurellidae and more, Scutus, Stomatella

Related Articles: GastropodsSea SlugsMollusksAbalone

Related FAQs: Limpets 1, Limpets 2, Limpets 3, Limpets 4, & Limpet Identification 1, Limpet ID 2, Limpet Compatibility, Limpet Selection, Limpet Systems, Limpet Feeding, Limpet Disease, Limpet Reproduction, & Marine Snails 1Marine Snails 2Marine Snails 3, Marine Snails 4, Snail ID 1, Snail ID 2, Snail Behavior, Snail Selection, Snail Compatibility, Snail Systems, Snail Feeding, Snail Disease, Snail Reproduction, MollusksSea SlugsAbalone


Limpets Color Change    6/16/12
Evening guys and gals,
I noticed about a month ago a very nice looking Limpet on the front glass of my aquarium. A few days ago, I noticed that my singular limpet had increased to three.
<Pasteur was wrong!>
 Last night I grabbed the flashlight to see what kind of other unknown critters might be moving about, and noticed two black Limpets stirring around. So earlier after seeing two of my guest moving across the glass, I turned out the light a bit early to observe. The Limpets quickly began turning from white to brown to black.
<Of use during darkness to avoid predators eh? Those clever Gastropods>
 I know that many marine animals darken a bit or even fully to camouflage themselves from predators, but I've never seen a Limpet do so. Is this common?
<Does occur>
 If so, does the Limpet actually darken it's shell or is the shell translucent and it's actually darkening it's tissue.
<The mantle, tissue covering...>
 Thanks guys! Adam Jenkins.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Thanks, and a Story re Stomatella Snails (beh.)  1/29/07 Dear Bob, et. al.: <Greetings John, Mich with you this evening.> First of all, many thanks to all of you for your fine WWM resources. You have all helped me gain a tremendous amount of valuable insight into the reef aquarium hobby, at times calming my fears, at others helping me form new strategies, and most always helping me to stay out of (too much) trouble. <Hehe, this is good.> It is a constant learning experience, and the challenge is greatly alleviated by useful knowledge and sense. <Glad to hear!> I have a 75g reef tank with about 100 lbs. of live rock and a 3" sand bed. This tank had been set up for at least a couple of years by the prior owners, but had been sadly neglected -- inadequate lighting, insufficient water changes and regular maintenance, etc., and the live rock and sand were really not very "live" at all. The sand was absolutely full of detritus. After moving the entire works, setting things back up, adding a new skimmer (AquaC Remora Pro), 300w of 10k and 70w of 20k MH lighting, some new additional live rock and sand and 4 months of babying, this microcosm is now doing extremely well, and has some very good diversity of life... not all to my own credit, because you and your advice also deserve some of the credit. Some "Live Sand Activator" from Coral Dynamics really kick started the sand bed, and a couple of other live micro-critter inoculations have the now very active sand bed well on its way to a stable equilibrium. The tank never did cycle (measurably, at least), and has never registered any reading for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, or phosphates. <Awesome!> The tank now houses the 2 yellowtail damsels which came with the original setup, a black velvet neon damsel (which was rescued from another marine tank after being attacked nearly to death by other damsels, and who has doubled in size in 3 months), a lawnmower blenny, and a powder blue tang (which I had great trepidation about adding, but who is healthy, growing, and truly thriving). I've gradually been adding corals over the past couple of months - a couple of Acropora frags, two Montipora, a Pocillopora, a pumping Xenia, and most recently a yellow Fiji leather. All are thriving (though the Xenia is rather finicky), have plenty of space, and I am done adding anything for the foreseeable future. WWM and Bob's and Anthony's books have really helped me tremendously. <The website and the books are an invaluable asset to this hobby.  I too would have been at a total loss without them.> I don't have a question today, but do have a comment / story to share. <Very good.> After adding something six or so weeks ago, I began noticing tiny slug-like creatures which grew quickly to about 1/4" to 3/8" length. Within a couple of weeks there were hundreds of these animals in the tank, most notably after dark. They were hard to see on the rock since they were well-camouflaged, but they moved around very quickly, much more so than the Cerith, Astrea, and turbo snails. After seeing one of the larger of these spewing milky stuff one morning (obvious to me that this was a reproductive event), I earnestly needed to find out what these things were, fearing a pending plague. After much searching, I finally determined that they were Stomatella, and that I did not indeed have a problem after all. Their population has by now become self-regulating, and there is always a full range of sizes of these snails in the tank. <Most excellent!  These are a great addition to any saltwater tank.> Yesterday I took out two MaxiJet 1200 powerheads with Hydor Flo rotating heads (an absolutely wonderful product for the money, IMO) to (experimentally, at least for now) replace them with Hydor Koralia powerheads. (So far I'm very impressed with these, and the general water movement in the tank is much improved, though time will tell the tale). Upon removing the Maxijets, I picked off several Stomatella, putting them back into the tank. After about 30 minutes (with the Maxijets sitting in the kitchen sink, rinsed in tap water), I got around to their complete disassembly and cleaning. I found several more of the Stomatella inside the powerheads, and was very surprised to find them still alive. <Yes, pretty hardy creatures.> Assuming that following what they had just been through they were almost certainly doomed, I took three of them back to the tank and dropped them into the water anyway. <Always good to be an optimist.> Fluid dynamics being as it is, all three floated to the bottom and landed on their backs. They squirmed around for a few seconds trying to right themselves (they are really adept at that when they land on rock), but none were able. Then all three squirreled their heads around and began picking up grains of sand, placing them on their "bellies" (feet), and moved the grains along to the back end of their feet. After doing this with 4-5 grains of sand, they had gained enough weight (apparently) to squirm one more time and roll over, after which they took off on their merry ways. I was pretty amazed -- what a remarkable behavior this was! Is this a great hobby or what??!! <What a world!!!  Amazing isn't it?!?> Sorry for the length of this message, and again, thanks so much for all your insight and assistance. <No apologies please!  Thank you for the kind words and sharing your delightful story!  -Mich> Kind Regards, John

Turbo Snail Issues 6/3/06 I had 3 zebra turbo snails. After a couple weeks I now have 1. It went to the back of the tank where I have some algae planted and released black pellet looking things. <Waste pellets, snail poop.> I don't know if its relieving its self or what but its all around it in the sand and on its shell. Hopefully  you know what this is. Thank you for your time. Love the site. <Chris>

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