MolluscIreland - land and freshwater
  • Lymnaea (Lymnaea) stagnalis (Linnaeus 1758) Great pond snail
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Lymnaea (Lymnaea) stagnalis
© Dr Roy Anderson
Lymnaea (Lymnaea) stagnalis
© Dr Roy Anderson

Map hosted by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, Waterford
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A large shell with massive body whorl and small, relatively sharp spire. Surface smooth, slightly shiny, lacking the distinct spiral striae of related species. Despite its size, the shell is rather fragile. Colour pale brown. Common in large water bodies.

Key characteristics

  • A large shell with massive body whorl and much narrower, sharp spire
  • Surface smooth, not glossy, with little in the way of growth ridges and only very fine spiral striations, or none


35-45 mm.

World Distribution

Found across Europe and Siberia to the Pacific. Also across northern North America. Distribution type: Circumpolar Wide-temperate (66).

GBIF distribution map [open in new tab]

Irish Distribution

Common in the central plain and larger river basins but considerably scarcer in the west and extreme north.


  • This large species prefers sizeable habitats and relatively still water of larger rivers and lakes
  • Mostly found in deeper and harder water than its congeners except the ubiquitous Radix balthica
  • Frequently sold in garden centres and introduced to garden ponds

Red List status

  • Least concern (lc).

Wikipedia link

Wikipedia page for Lymnaea stagnalis

 Anderson, R., (2016). Lymnaea (Lymnaea) stagnalis (Linnaeus 1758). [In] MolluscIreland. Accessed on 2024-03-02.