MolluscIreland - land and freshwater
  • Valvata (Valvata) cristata O. F. Müller 1774 Flat valve snail
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Valvata (Valvata) cristata
© Dr Roy Anderson

Map hosted by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, Waterford
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A small operculate shell forming a flattened coil. Colour yellow-brown. Animal with a feathery external gill. Found in clear, weedy waters of small size.

Key characteristics

  • Shell a flattened coil of 4-5 whorls
  • Colour yellow-brown, glossy, except when covered by deposits
  • With an operculum (compare small planorbids which have no operculum)
  • Live animal has a feathery external gill


3-3.5 mm.

World Distribution

Found across the whole of mainland Europe and Siberia to the Pacific. Distribution type: Eurasian Wide Temperate (65).

GBIF distribution map [open in new tab]

Irish Distribution

Scattered across central areas of Ireland north to Loughs Neagh and Erne. Disappears towards the south-west, west and north-west.


  • Found in clear weedy habitats of relatively small size and minimal flow i.e. drains, floodplain marshes, margins of larger lakes, fens
  • Becomes rare in acid or peaty waters

Red List status

  • Least concern (lc).

Wikipedia link

Wikipedia page for Valvata cristata

 Anderson, R., (2016). Valvata (Valvata) cristata O. F. Müller 1774. [In] MolluscIreland. Accessed on 2024-03-02.