MolluscIreland - land and freshwater
  • Columella edentula (Draparnaud 1805) Toothless chrysalis snail
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Columella edentula
© Dr Roy Anderson
Columella edentula
© Dr Roy Anderson

Map hosted by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, Waterford
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Morphologically similar to C. aspera but the yellowish-brown to mid brown shell is narrower and taller, with more whorls (at least 5 when mature, often 6), something which may be recognized in the field. Shell sculpture is finer and less coarse and the surface relatively smooth. Widespread, in marshes and woods.

Key characteristics

  • A very small, cylindrical, yellow-brown to brown shell
  • Narrower and taller than C. aspera with 5-6 (-7) whorls
  • Shell sculpture more irregular but finer than C. aspera
  • Aperture without teeth
  • Lip thin, simple


2.5-3 (-3.5) mm.

World Distribution

Distrution type probably Eurosiberian Wide-temperate (64).

GBIF distribution map [open in new tab]

Irish Distribution

Widespread but probably commoner in the south and east.


  • The range of habitats occupied tends towards the more lime-rich and wetter than those of Columella aspera
  • Often found in the leaf litter of wet woodland, in unimproved pasture at the roots of Iris or in neutral to base-rich fens and flushes
  • C. ededentula and C. aspera occasionally occur together in these places


An unusual form which occurs at Ballyaghagan Glen near Cave Hill, north Belfast may be worth investigating further. This has a tall shell (3.5 mm) of 7 whorls which is suggestive of Columella columella or perhaps Columella edentula var. inornata Michaud 1831 (found in the Alpes Maritimes). Columella columella (with 7 whorls) has a slightly less acuminate apex to the spire and a more cylindrical shell overall. The Ballyaghagan shell has a body whorl which is noticeably broader than the penultimate whorl, a character often attributed to C. columella but not to the var. inornata of C. edentula - something of a puzzle.

Red List status

  • Least concern (lc).

Wikipedia link

Wikipedia page for Columella edentula

 Anderson, R., (2016). Columella edentula (Draparnaud 1805). [In] MolluscIreland. Accessed on 2024-03-02.