The families of British non-marine molluscs (slugs, snails and mussels)


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Morphology. Snails, with a conspicuous, spiral, univalve shell.

The animal with two pairs of tentacles. Eyes at the tips of the posterior tentacles.

The shell inoperculate; rising-spiral; 5.5 whorled (Cochlicopa), or 6.5–7 whorled (Azeca); typically dextral; 4.5–7.5 mm in its maximum dimension; higher than wide; 4.5–7.5 mm high; 2.1–3.2 mm wide; height about 2.3–2.5 x the width; high-spired and tapered gradually from the body whorl. The height of the spire about 0.46–0.54 x that of the shell. The spire obtuse. The shell shortly fusiform to ovoid-symmetric, or tear-shaped; rather deeply sutured, or shallowly sutured. The body whorl moderately convex. The whorls of the spire moderately convex. The whorls gently neither shouldered nor keeled (to almost parallel). The aperture obliquely pear-shaped; bearing teeth (Azeca), or bearing calluses. The columella smooth to folded. The shell without an umbilicus. The shell thick-lipped (the edge somewhat thickened and bluntly rounded, without a deflected lip); thin and translucent; yellowish horn-coloured, sometimes tinged with red or green; plain (smooth and glossy).

General biology, ecology. Terrestrial. In mosses, herbage and ground litter in diverse locations - woods, fields, hedge banks, marshes, sandhills, etc.


Classification. Gastropoda; Pulmonata.

British representation. “Moss snails”: Azeca (1), Cochlicopa (3).

Illustrations. • Azeca goodalli and Cochlicopa lubrica, with Clausiliidae, Chondrinidae, Enidae, Ferussaciidae and Pupillidae. • Azeca goodalli and Cochlicopa lubrica (live animals; Reeve). • Cochlicopa lubrica, with Aciculidae, Clausiliidae, Ellobiidae, Ferussaciidae (Adams).

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2005 onwards. The families of British non-marine molluscs (slugs, snails and mussels). Version: 4th January 2012.’.