MolluscIreland - land and freshwater
  • Trochulus (Trochulus) hispidus (Linnaeus 1758) Hairy snail
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Trochulus (Trochulus) hispidus
© Dr Roy Anderson

Map hosted by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, Waterford
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Very variable in shape and colouring. Smaller than T. striolatus but larger than the only other hairy species found in Ireland, Ashfordia granulata, Shell thin, either globular with medium spire or depressed with a low spire. Whorls usually convex with deep sutures. Periphery angulated in depressed forms, not in more globular forms. Hairs are short and curved. Very common.

Key characteristics

  • Varies greatly in shape with globular forms in wet, shaded places and depressed, angular forms in dry places
  • Whorls either convex with deep sutures (wet, shaded places) or moderately convex with more shallow sutures (dry, open places)
  • Shell thin, surface relatively dull and varying from pale to dark brown in colour
  • Hairs curved and moderately dense in most populations but sparse in specimens from dry places
  • Umbilicus narrow and deep (shaded places) or wide and shallow (dry places)


6-10 mm.

World Distribution

Confined to Europe and distributed from southern Scandinavia to the Mediterranean. Distribution type: European Temperate (73).

GBIF distribution map [open in new tab]

Irish Distribution

Abundant throughout except in highland areas.


  • The hairy snail is mostly found in wet, shaded habitats and, unlike T. striolatus, is not atttracted to gardens
  • However, often found in other kinds of 'rich' or eutrophic places such as nettle beds and waste places
  • A nearly hairless, flattened form with very wide umbilicus is frequent in dry calcareous pastures and coastal dunes

Red List status

  • Least concern (lc).

Wikipedia link

Wikipedia page for Trochulus hispidus

 Anderson, R., (2016). Trochulus (Trochulus) hispidus (Linnaeus 1758). [In] MolluscIreland. Accessed on 2024-03-02.