MolluscIreland - land and freshwater
  • Pupilla pratensis (Clessin 1871)

Map hosted by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, Waterford
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A short cylindrical shell of 6-7 whorls with a blunt, obtuse apex. Aperture has a single, weak, whitish, parietal denticle. There is a whitish rib or callus behind the lip which can be seen through the shell from the side. The shell is dark reddish-brown, faintly glossy and finely striate. Differs from the very similar Pupilla muscorum in its taller and darker shell with blunter apex and its more weakly developed apetural teeth (Moorkens & Killeen, 2009). It also lives in different habitats - mainly calcareous fens rather than dry, calcareous grasslands.

Key characteristics

  • Shell cylindrical-ovoid but narrows more abruptly at the apex than P. muscorum
  • Number of whorls 6-6.5 (-7)
  • Growth lines fine but more pronounced than in P. muscorum, shell thinner more translucent
  • Apertural lip rather weak, tooth weakly developed, sometimes absent
  • Shell colour dark chestnut brown (reddish-brown to greyish brown in muscorum)


3.5-3.9 mm.

World Distribution

Knowledge of the world distribution of this newly recognised species is imperfect. However, there are confirmed records for most of west, north and central Europe suggesting a Suboceanic Temperate distribution (72).

GBIF distribution map [open in new tab]

Irish Distribution

So far known only from Clonaslee Eskers (N271122), Co. Meath and the flushes on the northern margins of Waterstown Lough (N102459), Co. Westmeath (Moorkens & Killeen, 2009).


  • Confined to basic fen types
  • Noted from flushed calcareous slopes in Ireland


Recently confirmed as a distinct species by Proschwitz et al. (2009).

Red List status

  • Not listed but likely to qualify as highly endangered (EN).

Wikipedia link

Wikipedia page for Pupilla pratensis

 Anderson, R., (2016). Pupilla pratensis (Clessin 1871). [In] MolluscIreland. Accessed on 2024-03-03.