- Violet snails are medium marine snails (molluscs) that float around in the open ocean
- They have a purple shell that lightens in colour as it you move towards the flattened top of the shell. The shell itself is very light weight and they have no operculum (lid). Their flesh is a dark purple or sometime black.
- Size: up to 30mm
What to Observe
Search area for 30 minutes and record under the following categories:
- Abundant - found easily with little searching
- Frequent - found with minimal searching
- Rare - only 1 or 2 individuals found with intensive searching
- Not found - not present during search
ClimateWatch Science Advisor
Violet snails are under increasing stress due to ocean acidification which can weaken their calcium carbonate shells and reduce body condition. This makes them more prone to disease, predation and low reproduction. Increasing water temperature as a result of climate change will likely affect their abundance.
When To Look
Throughout the year.
Where To Look
- They are open ocean dwellers and are found washed up on beaches often found in the drift line.
- Australian mainland coast line and Eastern TAS.
The map below displays the accumulated observations of these species as reported by ClimateWatch observers, together with the layer showing how the range of the species might change between now and 2085, with orange areas indicating where the species might disappear, and green areas where the species range might expand.
Violet snail are unique and are unlikely to be confused with any other shell, due to their size, purple colour and thin shell.
Did You Know?
The violet snails main food sources are: blue-bottles, by-the-wind sailors and small jellyfish.
They float around the open oceans upside down, attached to a raft of mucus bubbles that they make.