Cellana sandwicensis

From WikiMD's Wellness Encyclopedia

Cellana sandwicensis
Cellana sandwicensis 002
Cellana sandwicensis 001

Cellana sandwicensis

Cellana sandwicensis, commonly known as the Hawaiian limpet or opihi, is a species of marine gastropod in the family Nacellidae. This species is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands and is an important part of the local marine ecosystem and culture.

Description[edit | edit source]

Cellana sandwicensis has a conical shell that can vary in color from dark brown to black, often with radiating stripes or spots. The shell's interior is typically smooth and iridescent. The size of the shell can range from 2 to 5 centimeters in diameter. The species is known for its strong attachment to rocks in the intertidal zone, making it difficult to dislodge.

Habitat[edit | edit source]

This limpet is found in the intertidal zone on rocky shores, where it grazes on algae and biofilm. It prefers areas with strong wave action, which helps to reduce the presence of predators and competitors.

Distribution[edit | edit source]

Cellana sandwicensis is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands, meaning it is found nowhere else in the world. Its distribution includes all the main Hawaiian Islands, from Hawaiʻi to Kauaʻi.

Ecological Role[edit | edit source]

As a grazer, Cellana sandwicensis plays a crucial role in controlling the growth of algae on rocky substrates. This helps to maintain the balance of the intertidal ecosystem. The species is also a food source for various predators, including fish, crabs, and birds.

Cultural Significance[edit | edit source]

In Hawaiian culture, opihi is considered a delicacy and is often collected for food. The practice of gathering opihi is traditionally done with great care and respect for the ocean, as it can be dangerous due to the strong waves and slippery rocks.

Conservation[edit | edit source]

The population of Cellana sandwicensis has been affected by overharvesting and habitat destruction. Conservation efforts are focused on sustainable harvesting practices and protecting their natural habitats from pollution and development.

Related Species[edit | edit source]

Cellana sandwicensis is closely related to other species in the genus Cellana, such as Cellana exarata and Cellana talcosa. These species share similar habitats and ecological roles but can be distinguished by differences in shell morphology and coloration.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD