Shells of Calliostoma zizyphinum taken from Strangford Lough, N. Ireland are divisible into three distinct colour forms: white (=var lyonsi) intermediate (a pale variegated form) and purple (a dark variegated form). The predominance of white and pale shelled individuals within and the absence of white Calliostoma outside the lough was confirmed. The proportions of animals with white and variegated shells at selected sites were almost identical with those previously documented, suggesting a temporal stability of colour form ratios. No differences in shell thickness and pedal adhesion were demonstrated between these forms. Snails with white shells reflect radiant heat better, have lighter coloured feet, move more rapidly, show a greater incidence of shell repair and are more frequently exposed on weed at low tide, than those with either intermediate or purple shells. Increased proportions of white individuals may be associated with high population densities. Under such circumstances, it is suggested that increased mobility may, by increasing dispersion, reduce intraspecific competition. In the event of exposure at low tide a white shell would help minimize thermal stress.