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The shell of this individual of Littoraria irrorata is covered with the lichen Pyrenocollema halodytes
The shell of this individual of Littoraria irrorata is covered with the lichen Pyrenocollema halodytes
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Clade: Caenogastropoda
Clade: Hypsogastropoda
Order: Littorinimorpha
Family: Littorinidae
Genus: Littoraria
Griffith & Pidgeon, 1834[1]
Type species
Littorina pulchra Sowerby, 1832

Littoraria is a genus of sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Littorinidae, the winkles or periwinkles.[2]

There are more than fifty species in this genus of which more than 20 species are believed to be synonyms of Littoraria scabra, a very variable species.[3]

Many of the species in this genus occur in the Indo-West Pacific region and in the Tropical Eastern Pacific, where they are found in large numbers on the trunks, trees and prop roots of tropical mangrove forests a few metres above high tide level. These snails feed on the thin film of algae, epiphytes, fungi, diatoms and leaf epidermis of these mangroves.[4] The species living on higher levels of the trees have thinner shells, and are more variable in shell colour.

Within this genus, Littoraria aberrans is the only ovoviviparous species with an intracapsular metamorphosis.


Species in the genus Littoraria include:

Species brought into synonymy 


  1. ^ Griffith & Pidgeon (1834). In: Griffith's Cuvier, Anim. Kingd., Moll., etc.: 578.
  2. ^ Reid, David G. (2011). Littoraria Griffith & Pidgeon, 1834. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at on 2011-04-15
  3. ^ Reid, D.G. (1986). The littorinid molluscs of mangrove forests in the Indo-Pacific region. British Museum (Natural History), London
  4. ^ J.T. Christensen (1998). "Diet in Littoraria". Hydrobiologia. 378: 235–236. doi:10.1023/A:1003226713667.

Further reading[edit]

  • REID David G. (2001). "New data on the taxonomy and distribution of the genus Littoraria Griffith and Pidgeon, 1834 (Gastropoda: Littorinidae) in Indo-West Pacific mangroveforests". The Nautilus. 115 (4): 115–139.
  • REID, D G 1986. The Littorinid Molluscs of Mangrove Forests in the Indo-Pacific Region: the genus Littoraria. British Museum (Natural History), London. 228 pp.
  • Reid D.G. (1999). "The genus Littoraria". Veliger. 42: 21–53.
  • Reid D.G. & Mak, Y-M (1999). "Indirect evidence for ecophenotypic plasticity in radular dentition of Littoraria species (Gastropoda: Littorinidae)". Journal of Molluscan Studies. 65 (3): 355–370. doi:10.1093/mollus/65.3.355.
  • Reid D.G. (1999). "The phylogeny of Littoraria (Gastropoda: Littorinidae): an example of the practice and application of cladistic analysis". Phuket Marine Biological Center Special Publication. 19: 283–322.