Edible Periwinkle

Littorina littorea


Found on rocks and amongst seaweeds around the middle to lower parts of the shore, the Edible Periwinkle feeds by grazing on algae and seaweed.

How to identify

The Edible Periwinkle has a rounded, whorled shell, usually greyish-brown in colour. It has concentric ridges, dark lines and a pointed apex. It is distinguished from similar, snail-like periwinkles and topshells by the slightly larger size, rounded shape and generally plainer colours.

Where to find it

Found on rocky shores all around our coasts.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Molluscs provide a vital link in the food chain for many of our rarer species. Our seas and coastline are in need of protection if we are to keep our marine wildlife healthy. The Wildlife Trusts are working with fishermen, researchers, politicians and local people towards a vision of 'Living Seas', where marine wildlife thrives. This work has recently had a massive boost with the passing of the Marine Bill, promising sustainable development of the UK's marine environment. Do your bit for our Living Seas by supporting your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Edible Periwinkle
Latin name
Littorina littorea
Aquatic gastropods (e.g. sea snails)
Diameter: 3cm Lifespan: 5 years
Conservation status