Cellana exarata

From WikiMD's Wellness Encyclopedia

Cellana exarata, also known as the Hawaiian Blackfoot ʻopihi, is a species of true limpet, a group of marine gastropod mollusks in the family Nacellidae. This species is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands, where it is a significant part of the local marine ecology and human culture.

Description[edit | edit source]

Cellana exarata is a medium-sized limpet with a shell that is typically 35-50 mm in length. The shell is conical and the color varies from black to brown. The interior of the shell is white with a blue or green hue.

Habitat and Distribution[edit | edit source]

The Hawaiian Blackfoot ʻopihi is found exclusively in the Hawaiian Islands. It inhabits the intertidal zone, particularly on wave-exposed rocky shores. The species is most abundant on the windward coasts of the islands.

Ecology[edit | edit source]

Cellana exarata is a herbivore, feeding primarily on algae that it scrapes off the rocks with its radula. It is a key species in the intertidal ecosystem, influencing the distribution and abundance of algae on the rocks where it feeds.

Human Use[edit | edit source]

The Hawaiian Blackfoot ʻopihi is a traditional food source for Native Hawaiians, who collect the limpets from the rocks at low tide. The species is also used in jewelry making.

Conservation[edit | edit source]

Cellana exarata is not currently listed as threatened or endangered. However, overharvesting and habitat loss due to coastal development pose potential threats to the species.

See Also[edit | edit source]

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD