BIOTIC Species Information for Patella vulgata
Click here to view the MarLIN Key Information Review for Patella vulgata
Researched byJacqueline Hill Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byProf. Steve J. Hawkins
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeProtandrous hermaphrodite
Developmental mechanismPlanktotrophic
Reproductive SeasonSee additional information Reproductive LocationWater column
Reproductive frequencyAnnual protracted Regeneration potential No
Life span11-20 years Age at reproductive maturity<1 year
Generation time3-5 years FecundityInsufficient information
Egg/propagule sizeEggs 160 µm in diameter Fertilization typeExternal
Larvae/Juveniles
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potential>10km Larval settlement periodInsufficient information
Duration of larval stage2-10 days   
Reproduction Preferences Additional InformationReproduction
Patella vulgata become sexually mature as males aged about nine months. Sex change may occur at one year, commonly at two to three, occasionally later and some limpets never become female. Spawning is believed to be induced by rough seas and onshore winds. Eggs (160 µm in diameter) are broadcast singly and fertilized externally. They are dark green in colour due to the presence of a pigment called chromoprotein Y (Fretter & Graham, 1974). The trochophore larvae has a pelagic life of about 2 weeks and then settles on rocks at a shell length of about 0.2 mm. Newly settled spat are usually found in rock pools or permanently damp situations. Recruitment fluctuates from year to year and from place to place and Bowman (1981) has pointed out that traditional statements about patellid breeding seasons are not universally valid for the British Isles.
Reproductive frequency:
Annual, with peaks within a defined spawning season (October - January) depending on location. Patella vulgata is a winter breeder only in southern England, in the north of Scotland it breeds in August and in north-east England in September.
Reproduction References Hayward et al., 1996, Fish & Fish, 1996, Fretter & Graham, 1994, Fretter & Graham, 1976, Bowman, 1981,
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