Violet snail

Mollusca – Gastropoda

Distribution:       

There are a few species of violet snails that may be washed up on Western Australian beaches by rough seas. A violet snail floats upside down far out in the open ocean, clinging to a raft it creates by secreting air-filled mucous bubbles that stick together and harden. Travelling at the mercy of ocean currents, these carnivorous snails feed on floating cnidarians, such as bluebottles and by-the-wind sailors.

Violet snail on beach

Did you know?

Violet snails are adapted to life on the sea surface. When viewed from above, the dark purple colouration of the shell blends with the surrounding water and when viewed from below, the lighter colour blends with the sky. This type of camouflage is known as countershading.

Violet snail -janthina janthina