Nodilittorina unifasciata Click to enlarge image
Little Blue Periwinkle, Nodilittorina unifasciata Image: Dr Isobel Bennett
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    unifasciata
    Genus
    Nodilittorina
    Family
    Littorinidae
    Order
    Sorbeoconcha
    Class
    Gastropoda
    Phylum
    Mollusca
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    1.6 cm

These tiny blue snails are about the size of your little fingernail and are the most abundant molluscs on the rocky shore, generally found toward the high-tide mark.

Identification

The name of this snail comes from its small size and the pale blue colour of its shell.

Habitat

Little Blue Periwinkles live in intertidal rock pools.

Distribution

Little Blue Periwinkles are found in Southern Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania.

Feeding and diet

During high tide they rove around the rock platform, scraping algae and lichens from the rock with their strong radula. They travel up to 12 m in search of food, which is quite a feat for an animal that is only 15 mm long.

Other behaviours and adaptations

Little Blue Periwinkles live in clusters of thousands, which helps prevent moisture loss.