MolluscIreland - land and freshwater
  • Radix auricularia (Linnaeus 1758) Ear pond snail
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Radix auricularia
© Dr Roy Anderson
Radix auricularia
© Dr Roy Anderson

Map hosted by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, Waterford
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The prevailing form of the ear pond snail in Ireland (lagotis Schrank) is not very ear-shaped and rather similar to forms of Radix balthica, but has a sharper spire with deflected protoconch (seen in the angle which the shell makes with the animal body during movement) and a generally more expanded body whorl. Local in Ireland and uncommon.

Key characteristics

  • A medium to large shell with very large body whorl and short spire
  • Aperture ear-shaped, with strongly reflected lip, but in the typical Irish form the aperture is smaller and the lip less reflected, more like that of R. balthica
  • Upper edge of the aperture makes a right angle with the body whorl
  • Spire is deflected so that when the animal crawls it points obliquely to one side


15-30 mm.

World Distribution

In Europe it occurs mainly in the milder central and western lowlands or in southern parts and thence across Siberia to east Asia. Distribution type: Eurasian Wide-temperate (65) and Southern-temperate (85).

GBIF distribution map [open in new tab]

Irish Distribution

Sparsely distributed through the central plain and around Loughs Neagh and Erne. It has apparently declined recently in much of central Ireland (Byrne et al., 2009).


  • Scattered in silty habitats of peri-neutral to alkaline pH with abundant macrophytes
  • Generally confined to large lake systems and rivers
  • Relatively resistant to eutrophication and found, for instance, among dense growths of Cladophora along the hypertrophic shoreline of Lough Neagh

Red List status

  • Vulnerable (VU).

Wikipedia link

Wikipedia page for Radix auricularia

 Anderson, R., (2016). Radix auricularia (Linnaeus 1758). [In] MolluscIreland. Accessed on 2024-05-30.