MolluscIreland - land and freshwater
  • Zonitoides (Zonitoides) nitidus (O. F. Müller 1774) Shiny glass snail
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Zonitoides (Zonitoides) nitidus
© Dr Roy Anderson
Zonitoides (Zonitoides) nitidus
© Dr Roy Anderson

Map hosted by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, Waterford
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A glossy dark animal and shell of 4½ moderately convex whorls. The shell has fairly deep sutures and a moderately raised spire. Surface with irregular coarse growth lines. Umbilicus wide. Recognisable in the field by being very dark, nearly black, the dark animal showing through the translucent brown shell. Common on river and lake margins.

Key characteristics

  • A very dark animal and shell
  • Shell surface glossy and a translucent deep brown but often obscured by adhering algae or mud
  • Whorls moderately convex with deep sutures
  • Spire a little more convex but with fewer whorls than Z. excavatus (4½ vs 5½)


6-7 mm.

World Distribution

Widely distributed in Europe and across Siberia to the Pacific. Also in northern North America. Distibution type: Circumpolar Temperate (76).

GBIF distribution map [open in new tab]

Irish Distribution

Found across central and southern Ireland north to Lough Neagh, but scarce in western and northern districts of Ireland.


  • Common on richer, 'fenny' lake and river margins, typically where Mentha spp. grow
  • Rarely found in areas subject to large fluctuations in water level or in wetlands such as turloughs liable to dry out in the summer
  • Very hygrophilous and amphibious

Red List status

  • Least concern (lc).

Wikipedia link

Wikipedia page for Zonitoides nitidus

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