Old 05-16-2019, 09:46 PM
mixdenny is offline
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Cleveland suburbs
Posts: 1,836

Periwinkle shells

A post on a local history page featured these small shells from Lake Erie. I remember them well. But a image search for periwinkle shows shells that are much fatter. Are these some variation of periwinkles?


Old 05-17-2019, 08:46 AM
naita is online now
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Norway
Posts: 6,237
I'm not a biologist, but what I can find right now on periwinkles all show the "fatter" kind. And this page about shells from the Great Lakes reference a different genus, with conical shells, Pleurocera.

But that's the biologist definition. According to Merriam-Websters you can call any old snail a periwinkle:

periwinkle noun (2)
Definition of periwinkle (Entry 2 of 2)
: any of various gastropod mollusks: such as
a : any of a genus (Littorina) of edible littoral marine snails
also : any of various similar or related marine snails
b : any of several North American freshwater snails
Old 05-17-2019, 08:57 AM
MrDibble's Avatar
MrDibble is offline
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Cape Town, South Africa &
Posts: 25,147
Before today, I've never heard periwinkle used to refer to anything other than marine gastropods (which are very tasty!) or the flowers and associated colour.

Calling pleurocerids periwinkles is just a quaint regionalism.
Old 05-17-2019, 10:27 AM
mixdenny is offline
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Cleveland suburbs
Posts: 1,836
I wonder if they are edible. You would need a lot of them. The rivers around here have several species of mussels. At my grandfather's farm on the Black River near Grafton you can find ones over 4" long.



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