MolluscIreland - land and freshwater
  • Gyraulus (Gyraulus) albus (O. F. Müller 1774) White ramshorn
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Gyraulus (Gyraulus) albus
© Dr Roy Anderson
Gyraulus (Gyraulus) albus
© Dr Roy Anderson

Map hosted by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, Waterford
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A small, loosely coiled, faintly glossy, sometimes dull-whitish shell. The surface sculpture is characteristic and has radial growth lines inter-cut with strong radial striae. The body whorl expands strongly to produce a wide, broadly oval aperture which meets the previous whorl at an obtuse angle. Widespread.

Key characteristics

  • A small, loosely coiled, dull brown or whitish shell
  • Surface with strong radial growth lines inter-cut with strong spiral striae to produce a characteristic cross-striation
  • Body whorl expands strongly to produce a wide, broadly oval aperture which meets the previous whorl at an obtuse angle
  • Whorls convex, sutures deep

Size

5-8 mm.

World Distribution

Distributed across the northern hemiphere. Distribution type: Circumpolar Wide-temperate (66).

Irish Distribution

Rarely a dominant animal in any particular habitat, but one of the most prolific still water planorbids in our area. It occurs in all but the most dystrophic or acid of lake environments.

Ecology

  • Usually inhabits deeper, weedy water in lakes and large ponds
  • Abundant in water to 20m depth within Lough Neagh and an item of diet for over-wintering diving ducks (Winfield & Winfield, 1994)
  • Prefers calcareous conditions but present in all but the most base-depleted lakes

Red List status

  • Least concern (lc).

Wikipedia link

Wikipedia page for Gyraulus albus

 Anderson, R., (2016). Gyraulus (Gyraulus) albus (O. F. Müller 1774). [In] MolluscIreland.
http://www.habitas.org.uk/molluscireland/species.asp?ID=88 Accessed on 2017-12-17.