MolluscIreland - land and freshwater
  • Quickella arenaria (Potiez & Michaud 1835) Sand amber snail
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Quickella arenaria
© 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, turreted, conical shell with large body whorl. The aperture is about 50% of shell height, the spire very short and the whorls are convex with deep sutures. Surface moderately shiny with relatively coarse growth lines. Colour red-brown. In life the dark digestive gland shows through the shell to make the spire very dark compared to the body whorl. Shell fragile. Very local and rare.

Key characteristics

  • A small, turreted, red-brown shell with moderately large body whorl
  • The spire is moderately short but distinctive in the living animal as it appears dark because of the dark digestive gland showing through
  • Whorls very convex and globular with deep sutures
  • Animal dark grey to black


5-8 mm.

World Distribution

Confined to western Europe and distributed mainly near coasts from France to south-east Sweden. There are curious outliers inland in the mountains of central Scandinavia and east Switzerland. The range is therefore Suboceanic Boreo-temperate (52).

GBIF distribution map [open in new tab]

Irish Distribution

Recorded from several base-rich fens in Co. Offaly (Norris & Pickrell, 1972), from two sites in Co. Clare, from three sites on Inishmore, Aran Islands, Co. Galway (Phillips, 1910; Tattersfield, 1991), from Dooaghtry dunes, Co. Mayo (Stelfox, 1912; Tattersfield, 1993) and most recently from a significant cluster of eight localities on the shores of Lough Corrib (Holyoak, 2005).


  • It requires well-grazed or sparsely vegetated dune hollows, or grazed, sparsely vegetated flood plains of larger lakes
  • All of its sites are on calcareous coastal sands or on Carboniferous limestone

Red List status

  • Endangered (EN).

Wikipedia link

Wikipedia page for Quickella arenaria

 Anderson, R., (2016). Quickella arenaria (Potiez & Michaud 1835). [In] MolluscIreland. Accessed on 2024-03-02.