MolluscIreland - land and freshwater
  • Oxyloma (Oxyloma) elegans (Risso 1826) Pfeiffer's amber snail
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Oxyloma (Oxyloma) elegans
© Dr Roy Anderson

Map hosted by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, Waterford
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A medium-sized shell with a very large body whorl and tiny spire. Similar in shape to Succinea putris but smaller and with a shorter spire, and more laterally compressed. Animal normally dark in colour. Widespread and common.

Key characteristics

  • A medium-sized shell with very large body whorl
  • More laterally compressed than the larger Succinea putris with a more elongate aperture
  • Animal usually dark in colour
  • Shell amber in colour and with irregular radial growth lines


9-12 mm.

World Distribution

Found across a great swathe of Eurasia and North America. Distribution type: Circumpolar Wide-temperate (66).

GBIF distribution map [open in new tab]

Irish Distribution

The most widespread amber snail in Ireland and recorded, often abundantly, from all areas.


  • Tends to stay near the base of tall vegetation in fens, river and lake margins and damp pastures
  • Often seen crawling on mud or low vegetation on lake and river margins

Red List status

  • Least concern (lc).

Wikipedia link

Wikipedia page for Oxyloma elegans

 Anderson, R., (2016). Oxyloma (Oxyloma) elegans (Risso 1826). [In] MolluscIreland. Accessed on 2024-03-02.