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Littorina littorea
Image courtesy of World Register of Marine Species under the CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 License.
Littorina littorea
Taxonomic Group: Mollusks-Gastropods


Littorina littorea is known as the Common Periwinkle. It is native to Europe from the White Sea, Russia to Gibraltar. It has been introduced to the West and East coasts of North America and the Mediterranean. Some introduced occurrences have failed to establish sustained populations, but others have persisted, especially on the East Coast from Newfoundland to Virginia. This snail is characteristic of intertidal rocky shores, wharves, and pilings, but also occurs in mudflats and marsh habitats. It is a common food item in Europe, but is rarely eaten in North America. It is highly abundant in parts of its introduced range and has had impacts on food webs, through competition with native species and increased grazing which reduces seaweed abundance. It is also host to a variety of parasite species.

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Fofonoff PW, Ruiz GM, Steves B, Simkanin C, & Carlton JT. .
National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System.
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