MolluscIreland - land and freshwater
  • Carychium minimum O. F. Müller 1774 Herald snail
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Carychium minimum
© Dr Roy Anderson

Map hosted by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, Waterford
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A tiny dull white shell with oval aperture ornamented with two denticles and a thickened lip produced into a small, inward-pointing knob in the middle. Spire relatively shorter and body whorl broader than in Carychium tridentatum. Widespread in wet places.

Key characteristics

  • A tiny dull white, cylindrical shell
  • Very similar to Carychium tridentatum but with a broader body whorl, a distinction which can be judged in the field, with practice
  • Mouth oval with two denticles and a thickened lip
  • Internally, the shell has a simple, thin lamella running around the columella, seen by breaking open the shell above the aperture


1.6-1.9 mm.

World Distribution

Found across central and northern Europe into western Siberia. Distribution type: Eurosiberian Boreo-temperate (54).

GBIF distribution map [open in new tab]

Irish Distribution

Widespread and frequent throughout Ireland, except on peaty soils.


  • Prefers wetland and carr habitats at elevations up to about 350m
  • Also occasinally in ancient woodlands with C. tridentatum - these species are good indicators of long established, minimally disturbed woods
  • Rarely occurs on peatlands except where base-rich flushes occur

Red List status

  • Least concern (lc).

Wikipedia link

Wikipedia page for Carychium minimum

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