Banded Wedge Shell

Donax vittatus This mollusc has a shiny white to yellow, purple or greyish-brown slender wedge-shaped shell. Growth stages show as pale bands. The inner surfaces are tinted white, purple, yellow or orange. Length up to 38mm. Found on the middle to lower shore where it burrows into coarse sand and lives just below the surface.... Continue Reading →

Necklace Shell

Polinices catenus The Necklace Shell has a  buff to pale yellow shell with a spiral row of brownish marks near its upper edge. Similar to Alder’s Necklace Shell which is smaller and darker. Shell height up to 3cm. It is found buried in the lower shore, in sheltered to moderately exposed sand. It feeds on... Continue Reading →

Bean Solen

Pharus legumen The shell is elongate, thin and brittle. There are numerous fine concentric lines, with a group of fine radiating striae. It is white or light brown, light olive or yellow. The hinge and ligament is positioned about a third of the way along the length of the mollusc. Length up to 130mm. It... Continue Reading →

Common Limpet

Patella vulgata Have you ever wondered what the underside of a limpet looked like? Note the large muscular foot, the relatively small mouth above, and the tentacles either side. The Common Limpet has an ashen-grey or greenish-blue shell, sometimes with a yellow tint, and with radiating ridges. It is conical with an almost central apex.... Continue Reading →

Common Mussel

Mytilus edulis Also called the ‘Blue Mussel’, the shells are dark brown, blue-black, or purple in colour. Shell length up to 10cm. It is found middle to lower shore, and attaches itself to rocks via byssus threads. It will also find crevices in the rocks, or attach themselves to manmade structures like piers and harbour... Continue Reading →

Common Periwinkle

Littorina littorea Also called the ‘Edible Periwinkle’, the shell is variable in colour, from black and grey to brown, white or red, and usually patterned with spiral dark lines. It is conical in shape with a pointed apex. This is the largest British periwinkle, but is usually smaller than 50mm. It favours rocky shores upper... Continue Reading →

American Slipper Limpet

Crepidula fornicata This limpet has a humped, smooth shell with variegation in colour, usually pinkish, orangey, cream or purplish. It has a fairly thick shell with a shelf on the underside, which resembles a slipper. Shell length 5cm. Shell height 2.5cm. It is found on the lower shore, attached to rocks and other shells, and... Continue Reading →

Dog Whelk

Nucella lapillus The Dog Whelk’s shell is variable in colour, from white to dark brown, yellow or banded. Thick-shelled, it is broadly conical bearing spiral ridges with a short spire. Shell height 3 to 5cm. It is a fierce predator of mussels, barnacles and other molluscs. It bores a hole into the prey’s shell using... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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