MolluscIreland - land and freshwater
  • Radix auricularia (Linnaeus 1758) Ear pond snail
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Radix auricularia
© Dr Roy Anderson
Radix auricularia
© Dr Roy Anderson

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The prevailing form of the ear pond snail in Ireland (lagotis Schrank) is not very ear-shaped and rather similar to forms of Radix balthica, but has a sharper spire with deflected protoconch (seen in the angle which the shell makes with the animal body during movement) and a generally more expanded body whorl. Local in Ireland and uncommon.

Key characteristics

  • A medium to large shell with very large body whorl and short spire
  • Aperture ear-shaped, with strongly reflected lip, but in the typical Irish form the aperture is smaller and the lip less reflected, more like that of R. balthica
  • Upper edge of the aperture makes a right angle with the body whorl
  • Spire is deflected so that when the animal crawls it points obliquely to one side

Size

15-30 mm.

World Distribution

In Europe it occurs mainly in the milder central and western lowlands or in southern parts and thence across Siberia to east Asia. Distribution type: Eurasian Wide-temperate (65) and Southern-temperate (85).

Irish Distribution

Sparsely distributed through the central plain and around Loughs Neagh and Erne. It has apparently declined recently in much of central Ireland (Byrne et al., 2009).

Ecology

  • Scattered in silty habitats of peri-neutral to alkaline pH with abundant macrophytes
  • Generally confined to large lake systems and rivers
  • Relatively resistant to eutrophication and found, for instance, among dense growths of Cladophora along the hypertrophic shoreline of Lough Neagh

Red List status

  • Vulnerable (VU).

Wikipedia link

Wikipedia page for Radix auricularia

 Anderson, R., (2016). Radix auricularia (Linnaeus 1758). [In] MolluscIreland.
http://www.habitas.org.uk/molluscireland/species.asp?ID=151 Accessed on 2017-10-18.