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Rough Keyhole Limpet: A Ready-made Ornament

Posted by Jody on August 30, 2012

Rough Keyhole Limpet (Diodora aspera)

The rough keyhole limpet (Diodora aspera) is a species of marine snail, having a small oval opening at the top (slightly to the front) of its short, conical shell. This interesting seashell looks a bit like a small volcano.

Rough keyhole limpets live along the Pacific coast in the rocky intertidal zone from Alaska, south to Baja California, Mexico. They can grow up to 2 ¾ inches in length. Their exterior may be white or shades of gray, striped with purplish-gray to brown rays.  The “rough” in its name indicates the texture of the shell’s exterior, as course ribs radiate out from the hole. However, the interior surface of a rough keyhole limpet is smooth and white.

Rough Keyhole Limpet (interior)

Greg and I found this rough keyhole limpet seashell on the shores of Newport, Oregon back  in December 2006, and we decided to make the lovely beach treasure into a Christmas ornament. It holds happy memories of a trip to the Pacific Northwest, has the perfect, ready-made  hole for a bright red ribbon, and is the just the right size for a small Christmas tree. All that, and we simply couldn’t beat the price!

A happy memory for our Christmas tree!


4 Responses to “Rough Keyhole Limpet: A Ready-made Ornament”

  1. Ruth said

    love this – I have a whole bowl of these kind of shells washed up on a North Cornish beach

  2. […] say the shells, washed up on the beaches, are a prize for shell collectors. Sure enough, click here to see an article about making ornaments from rough keyhole shells. I tried it and it and got a […]

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