Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I have not been very active recently finding new species because we've had the "Science Inspectors" in school for the last couple of days. So rather than search for elusive invertebrates, I have had to spend my time collecting together as much smoke, mirrors and wool as I could find. But since there has been discussions of snails, I thought I'd post this photo from earlier, which I have (supposedly) ID'd as Cellar Snail from the book, unless anyone thinks I have made an error. Just reading through the recent posts, I have been so impressed by everyone's ID skills of some obscure organisms, I feel I shall soon be lagging behind.


  1. I am not a mollusc expert!

    Can't tell from the photo the size or whether it smells strongly or at all like garlic, however the dark blue/grey body colour and the dark band showing through the shell near the opening are perhaps more suggestive of O. navarricus (=helveticus). O. cellarius usually has a lighter shell colour and paler body than your photo shows.

  2. Yes, thanks, I see that black band, and it is mentioned in the book but I hadn't spotted it. I initially ruled out navarricus as it states that it has a "slightly raised spire" but this one was certainly totally flat, almost inverted (as canmaybe be seen in the additional photo I have added). All rather complicated!

  3. One thing that I learned today is that O.cellarius has fine brown spotting on the mantle, which O.draparnaudi (the other non-garlicky big one) doesn't have. However, I found 4 large Oxychilus today which were pale-bodied enough for O.cellarius but lacked the spotted mantle. Maybe there's a cryptic species lurking?

    See http://www.habitas.org.uk/molluscireland/species.asp?ID=125

    Cheers, Seth.

    PS - I'll copy and paste this on Andy's "snail woe" post.

  4. I find Oxychilus very difficult still, despite a lot of effort and getting expert determinations on my reference specimens. I would say this is cellarius though - band at the mouth not dark enough for navarricus and spire too flat. I would be less sure it's not draparnaudi but that species is a size bigger.

  5. I found 4 more specimens in the garden today and every one is totally flat with no spire at all. They all do have some dark banding in that area but it varies. None of them smell at all.