MolluscIreland - land and freshwater
  • Radix balthica (Linnaeus 1758) Common pond snail or wandering snail
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Radix balthica
© Dr Roy Anderson
Radix balthica
© Dr Roy Anderson

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A moderately large pond snail with a large, oval, body whorl, up to 4/5ths the shell height and with a small spire. Aperture semi-oval, lip not reflected. Rather variable in form, the more extreme soft-water forms possessing bubble shells and sunken spires reminiscent of Myxas glutinosa though without the expanded mantle. Widespread and abundant.

Key characteristics

  • A fairly globose shell with body whorl 4/5ths the shell height
  • Spire short (sunken) in soft water lakeland forms, but short turreted in harder or moving waters
  • Aperture large but not ear-shaped and with a simple, non-reflected lip
  • Spire without a deflection so pointing to the rear when the animal is crawling

Size

15-28 mm.

World Distribution

The range of this species includes all of Europe to western Siberia, and into north Africa, Asia Minor and Afghanistan. Distribution type: broadly Eurosiberian Wide Temperate (64).

Irish Distribution

Probably the most widespread and common freshwater mollusc, particularly in eutrophic still-water environments.

Ecology

  • Ubiquitous in still and slowly flowing permanent waters, including lakes, lowland rivers, ditches, quarry flushes and fen pools
  • Found in a great variety of trophic conditions from oligotrophic to hypertrophic
  • Tolerates slight salinity in the upper reaches of saltmarshes

Taxonomy

The complex synonymy of this species, formerly known as Lymnaea peregra (O.F. Müller) is discussed by Anderson (2005).

Red List status

  • Least concern (lc).

Wikipedia link

Wikipedia page for Radix balthica

 Anderson, R., (2016). Radix balthica (Linnaeus 1758). [In] MolluscIreland.
http://www.habitas.org.uk/molluscireland/species.asp?ID=152 Accessed on 2017-12-15.