Purple Topshell

Gibbula umbilicalis

Also called the ‘Flat Topshell’, the shell is dull green, cream or grey with broad red-purple diagonal stripes. It is a relatively small flattened  topshell with a large round umbilicus (a deep hole on the underside of the shell). Shell length 1.6mm.

Seen on the uppershore in rockpools and on open rocks. This gastropod feeds on microscopic algae, which it grazes from rock surfaces using a brush-like radula on the tongue. Found on the western shores of the UK.

Photographs taken August 2011, Saundersfoot, Wales, and August 2015, Meadfoot Beach, Torquay, Devon.


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