The Falkland Islands and South Atlantic



Marine Snails, Limpets, Whelks. Shells always one piece and are asymmetrical due to torsion. Many are twisted and spiralled.

Link to Gastropod shells

A few common shells to be found on Falkland Islands beaches.
  • Trophon-geversianus-geversianus

Trophon geversianus geversianus

Found at Grave Cove, Dunbar, West Falklands and identified by Chris Edwards

  • Rough-thorn-drupe

Rough Thorn Drupe Acanthina monodon

This typical whelk shell form grows to about 6cm long and 3.5cm wide. The lower shell margin is a labial spine used to force apart mussels or other bivalves on which it preys. The body is reddy-brown. Black oystercatches probably take them as they are common around their nest sites. (Ian Strange).

  • coppery-limpet

Coppery Limpet Patinigera deaurata delicatissima

A relatively small limpet with a low dome 1.5in (4cm) long and up to 1in (3cm) wide.  The shell is quite thin, white to transparent with golden brown stained markings. There are ribs on the lower shell while the apex is smooth. Found below the low tide zones but wash ashore on kelp wrecks after storms. These limpets are found in the Magellanic regions, Tierra del Fuego and the Falklands.
Strange. Dillwyn

  • common-limpet

Common Limpet Patinigera deaurata

The Common Limpet grows to 3 inches (8cm) in length and up to 1.5inches or 4cm high. It is brownish grey with ribs radiating from its off-centre dome. As named this is a very common limpet. It grows in small groups in medium/low tidal zones and is an important food source for Black Oystercatchers. Striated Caracaras are also known to take them.

  • Painted-keyhole-limpet

Painted Keyhole Limpet Fissurella picta

These distinctive limpets are common on Falkland Islands coasts and can be found attached to rocky shores in mid/low tidal zones. They can grow to 9cm in length and  6cm in width and have distinctive purple or reddish brown rays or stripes, usually twelve.


Photographic credits: Robert Maddocks,
A Field Guide to the Wildlife of The Falkland Islands and South Georgia - Ian J Strange
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