Marine Invertebrate of the Week: Violet Snail

Every so often you might notice little purple shells washed up on the beach, usually during strong on-shore winds.  The common name for these animals is Violet Snails (Janthina spp.).  There are actually three different species, all purple in color, with three different styles of shell: Common, Dwarf, and Globular style.  They each secrete a bubble raft that they use to float on the surface of the open ocean, and they also secrete a purple dye when disturbed.  What’s unique about these snails is what they eat.  They prey upon Portuguese Man-O-War, Blue Buttons, and By-the-Wind Sailors.  If you’re a shell collector, beware that these shells are paper thin and very fragile.

Advertisements

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: