Aegopinella nitidula

Aegopinella nitidula (Draparnaud, 1805)
Waxy Glass-snail

  • Helix nitidula Draparnaud [1805]: 117.
  • Other synonyms in Europe.
Aegopinella nitidula; Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, BC.

Identification. Shell subdiscoid, with low rounded spire. Whorls 3½–4½, convex; in apical view, last whorl decidedly broader than penultimate whorl. Periphery rounded, medial. Teleoconch smoothish with inconspicuous fine spiral striae that cross minute colabral striae to form a minutely reticulate sculpture. Aperture subovate, edentulous, wider than high. Lip thin, simple. Umbilicus relatively wide, ca 1/4.5 of shell width. Shell nearly opaque, with a waxy lustre; reddish amber-brown but with milky-whitish area around umbilicus. Width to ca 6–11 mm (wider than high).

Animal dark bluish grey, paler on sides and tail; sole pale. Tentacles blue-black.

Habitat. In mature, unkempt gardens and on waste ground. In leaf litter, under dead wood, dense vegetation such as ivy, stones, and garbage.

Global range. Western Europe, from southern Scandinavia to the Iberian Peninsula; scattered in Eastern Europe east to Ukraine (Welter-Schultes 2012). Introduced to BC (Forsyth et al. 2001), but oddly not yet known elsewhere in North America.

Canadian range. Introduced to BC: Metro Vancouver (Forsyth et al. 2001).

Although Dall (1905) reported “Retinella nitidula” from Great Slave Lake, NWT, this seems likely in error (Forsyth et al. 2001) for, perhaps, Zonitoides nitidus, which he listed from the same locality.

Etymology. Latin, nitidus, “shining” + the diminutive suffix –ulus.

Remarks. See Welter-Schultes (2012) regarding the applicability of the name Helix nitidula Draparnaud, 1805.


  • Dall WH (1905) Land and fresh water mollusks. Harriman Alaska Expedition. Vol. 13. Doubleday, Page and Co., New York, 1–171, pls 1, 2.
  • Draparnaud J [1805] (“An XIII”) Histoire naturelle des mollusques terrestres et fluviatiles de la France, ouvrage posthume. Louis Collas, Paris, viii + 164 pp., 13 pls.
  • Forsyth RG, Hutchinson JMC, Reise H (2001) Aegopinella nitidula (Draparnaud, 1805) (Gastropoda: Zonitidae) in British Columbia—first confirmed North American record. American Malacological Bulletin 16: 65–69.
  • Welter-Schultes F (2012) European Non-marine Molluscs, a Guide for Species Identification. Bestimmungsbuch für europäische Land- und Süsswassermollusken. Planet Poster Editions, Göttingen, [3] + 679 + [678] pp.