Common Violet Snail

Janthina janthina

The Violet Snail is a thin-shelled marine snail that lives out its entire life cycle floating on the surface of the ocean, but often seen washed up on beaches after strong winds. They have a very beautiful violet-blue and whitish coloured shell. Violet Snails do not swim but use a bubble raft to keep them afloat, secreting mucus from a gland in their foot which traps air bubbles and then hardens to form a raft, with the animal floating upside-down. The shell of this species grows to about 40 mm. The Violet Snail feeds on other planktonic animals, especially By-the-wind Sailors, but also small jellyfish and crustaceans.

It is found worldwide including both tropical and temperate Australia.

Common Violet Snail (Janthina janthina) Common Violet Snail (Janthina janthina)

Queensland Museum's Find out about... is proudly supported by the Thyne Reid Foundation and the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation.