Project Description


Scientific name: Nucella lapillus
Size: Up to 3cm from the end of the shell to the other
Colour: Off white, occasionally striped
Habitat: Rocky shores, almost anywhere

  • They use a sandpaper-like tongue to “drill” through the shells of limpets.
  • Once they have made a hole in the shell of the limpet they inject digestive juices which turn the inside of the limpet into mush which the dog-whelk can suck out.
  • When you find an empty limpet shell on the beach with a small hole in it, the owner was probably eaten by a dog-whelk.

Photo credit: Paul Naylor