Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player


Search in the Encyclopedia

Flat periwinkle


up to 17 millimeters


many colors (yellow, orange, brown or green) depending upon the seaweed it lives on


mainly brown seaweed


crabs, such as shore crabs



  • Dut: Stompe alikruik (stompe krükel)
  • Lat: Littorina obtusata
  • Eng: Flat periwinkle
  • Ger: Flache Strandschnecke
  • Dan: Butspiret strandsnegl
Flat periwinkle, foto fitis, sytske dijksen

Flat periwinkle

Flat periwinkles are smaller than common periwinkles, but stand out due to their bright colors. The shell can vary between yellow, orange, brown or green, and even blue-gray fossils are found. Of all periwinkle species, this species is the least resistant to dehydration during low tide. Therefore, it lives deeper than other periwinkles in order to avoid lying exposed during low tide. Should that happen, it crawls at its fastest snail rate under a seaweed or stone.

  • Distribution and habitat
    Flat periwinkle, Foto Fitis,

    Flat periwinkles are found on all Western European coasts. It is very common in the tidal zones in the delta and the wadden regions.