Monday, 4 November 2013

Flat Periwinkles

While the grandchildren were here, the family spent some time on our visits to Sanna and Bay McNeil collecting every colour of flat periwinkle, Littorina obtusata, that we could find.  Hebe then arranged them into this colour grid.

An internet search into reasons for the colours produced this from Wikipedia, "The habitat defines its color. On sheltered shores it has a lighter and uniform color (yellow, brown, orange or olive green). On exposed shores its color is darker and chequered."  ARKIVE seems to agree, "The colour is variable depending on the habitat. It is usually olive-green but may be brown, yellow, banded or have a criss-cross pattern. Lighter colours are associated with sheltered shores."

While the colour range was considerable, the patterns were also highly variable.  Some had stripes running across the shell, a few had them running down the shell.  We didn't find any that we could call 'chequered'.


  1. Jon, surely we have an early entrant for the Turner Prize?

    "A Botanist Tutorial" would perhaps be an appropriate title since they were collected by Hebe. I'm sure you can work out why.

    Alasdair Thornton

  2. What a beautiful image!

  3. "Jon, surely we have an early entrant for the Turner Prize?"

    What a great idea.
    What a very beautiful range of colours.

    Thanks again for another interesting article/picture.