MolluscIreland - land and freshwater
  • Cecilioides (Cecilioides) acicula (O. F. Müller 1774) Blind (or Agate) Snail

Map hosted by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, Waterford
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An awl-shaped, narrow and cylindrical shell of 5½ whorls. Aperture about one-third of total height, narrow. Surface smooth, glassy and transparent becoming whitish/opaque after death. Lives in the soil. Rarely seen.

Key characteristics

  • A small, awl-shaped shell of 5½ whorls
  • Long and narrow with a narrow aperture and blunt apex
  • Shell fragile, glassy and transparent
  • Turns whitish, opaque when old
  • Animal whitish


4.5-5.5 mm.

World Distribution

Originally Mediterranean and probably an introduction in Ireland and western Europe generally. Current distribution type: Mediterranean Atlantic (91).

GBIF distribution map [open in new tab]

Irish Distribution

There is a wide scatter of old records in the southern half of Ireland within the area of Carboniferous limestone. Absent from the west and north although there is an isolated old record for Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh (Kerney, 1968). Rarely reported nowadays.


  • A soil-dwelling species preferring dry, warm, calcareous sites
  • Difficult to detect, at least in the living state, and probably under-recorded
  • Usually found under deeply embedded stones on calcareous soil of hedgebanks etc.

Red List status

  • Vulnerable (VU).

Wikipedia link

Wikipedia page for Cecilioides acicula

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