MolluscIreland - land and freshwater
  • Pupilla (Pupilla) muscorum (Linnaeus 1758) Moss chrysalis snail
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Pupilla (Pupilla) muscorum
© Dr Roy Anderson

Map hosted by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, Waterford
To view the species profile on Biodiversity Maps and access the live map, please click on the map.


A short cylindrical shell of 6-7 whorls with a blunt, obtuse apex. Aperture has a single, white, parietal denticle. There is a strong white rib or callus behind the lip which can be seen through the shell from the side. The lip itself is slightly thickened but not reflected. The shell is brown, faintly glossy and finely striate. Widespread but declining.

Key characteristics

  • A small, cylindrical shell of 6-7 whorls with blunt, obtuse apex
  • Aperture with a single white denticle
  • Mouth with a strong white rib or callus behind the lip
  • Lip thickened but not reflected
  • Shell brown, slightly glossy and finely striate


3-3.5 mm.

World Distribution

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

GBIF distribution map [open in new tab]

Irish Distribution

In decline in most parts of its Irish range. Now local and rare on northern coasts where it was formerly common. It has almost vanished from the southern part of the central limestone plain probably due to the 'improvement' of pastures for agriculture.


  • Restricted to dry, warm calcareous habitats
  • Favours minimally enriched calcareous pasture inland, or coastal dune pastures

Red List status

  • Endangered (EN).

Wikipedia link

Wikipedia page for Pupilla muscorum

 Anderson, R., (2016). Pupilla (Pupilla) muscorum (Linnaeus 1758). [In] MolluscIreland. Accessed on 2024-03-03.