Oliva australis

Southern olive
Oliva australis
Oliva australis, Busselton, WA, Photo: Graham Edgar


Temperate Australasia


Shiny pale shell that is generally ornamented by purplish zigzag longitudinal lines and alternating brown and white markings around the top of the whorls. This gastropod is common on clean sandflats off coasts with moderate wave exposure. Most animals are below the sand surface, where their presence is indicated by telltale tracks criss-crossing the sand.


Max Size: 3 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 17.4-22°C

Depth: 0-60m

Habitat Generalization Index: N/A

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Not Evaluated

Occurrence: Widespread (66.7% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Solitary (1 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: GJ Edgar. 2008. Australian Marine Life. New Holland, Sydney