MolluscIreland - land and freshwater
  • Oxychilus (Oxychilus) navarricus helveticus (Blum 1881) Glossy Glass Snail
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Oxychilus (Oxychilus) navarricus helveticus
© Dr Roy Anderson
Oxychilus (Oxychilus) navarricus helveticus
© Dr Roy Anderson

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A medium-sized, depressed shell of 5 whorls with sutures slightly deeper than those of O. cellarius. Surface very glossy and a warm brownish yellow. Body blue-grey with jet-black mantle edge. Sometimes emits a faint garlic smell when disturbed. Rare as an introduction in southern counties.

Key characteristics

  • Shell medium-sized, glossy, comprising 5 flattened whorls
  • Colour brownish yellow and translucent, animal deep blue-grey with black mantle edge
  • Sutures deeper than those of O. cellarius
  • Sometimes emits a faint garlic smell when irritated


8-10 mm.

World Distribution

Natural range probably restricted to Belgium, France and Switzerland. In Britain it is a post-Roman colonist and still spreading (Kerney, 1999). Recently introduced in Ireland. Distribution type: Suboceanic Temperate (72).

GBIF distribution map [open in new tab]

Irish Distribution

There is an early greenhouse record for the rogersi form of this species at Hillsborough Castle, Down, which was confirmed by dissection (Stelfox, 1911b). Form rogersi is a British variety and has not been reported from mainland Europe. Other supposed Irish records for greenhouses probably relate to a dark-mantled form of O. draparnaudi which is still extant in places. As a naturalised alien, O. navarricus was added to the Irish list by Kerney (1978b), from roadside grass and rubbish in a small spinney near the townlands of Feohanagh, Broadford and Kilmeedy in Co. Limerick. More recently found at a roadside in Terenure, Dublin (April, 2002), and from 6 sites spread across East, Mid and West Cork, North Kerry, Limerick and Waterford (Cawley, 2008). So clearly increasing, at least in the south.


  • Mostly associated with rubbishy sites on roadsides and in quarries, occasionally in gardens
  • Taken in roadside amenity plantings at Terenure


Falkner et al. (2001b) have proposed that the Oxychilus helveticus of earlier British authors is conspecific with a Pyrenean taxon, Oxychilus navarricus. The latter name has date priority, but because there are two geographical races of the species, the northern one, originating from the alpine region and widespread in the British Isles, should now be called O. navarricus helveticus (Blum).

Red List status

  • Not applicable.

Wikipedia link

Wikipedia page for Oxychilus navarricus

 Anderson, R., (2016). Oxychilus (Oxychilus) navarricus helveticus (Blum 1881). [In] MolluscIreland. Accessed on 2024-03-03.