Belgrandiella (Belgrandiella angelovi)
|Size||Shell height: c. 1.9 mm (2) (3)|
Shell width: c. 0.98 mm (2) (3)
Belgrandiella angelovi is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).
A small freshwater snail, Belgrandiella angelovi is a member of the Hydrobiidae family. Snails within this family rarely have any colouration in the shell, which is ordinarily white (4). However, in Belgrandiella angelovi, the shell is green-yellow, and has a silky surface. The shell is tiny, opaque and cylindrical, consisting of three to four-and-a-half slightly rounded whorls (3). The mantle is white (5) and the umbilicus is slit-like (2).
Belgrandiella angelovi is endemic to a spring on Shipka Pass in the Stara Planina Mountains, Bulgaria. It is only known to exist in this one location, but could possibly also be found in other springs in the surrounding area (1).
Belgrandiella angelovi is found in a cold, freshwater spring (1) in a karst formation (6). Inside the stream, the snail attaches itself to stones, sand, wood and vegetation (2).
Little is known about the biology of Belgrandiella angelovi; however, members of the Hydrobiidae family generally feed on organic debris and algal films on the surface of aquatic vegetation and rocks (7) (8).
Some of the springs around the Shipka Pass have been concreted to gain access to water for nearby villages. Tourism development, as well as fluctuating water levels, pose future threats to Belgrandiella angelovi (1).
There are no known conservation measures currently in place for this species. More information is needed on Belgrandiella angelovi to better assess its conservation status, as other populations could occur in less accessible locations. Subsequently, appropriate conservation plans could be implemented to protect this species (1).
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- Algae: simple plants that lack roots, stems and leaves but contain the green pigment chlorophyll. Most occur in marine and freshwater habitats.
- Endemic: a species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
- Karst formation: an area of irregular limestone in which erosion has produced fissures, sinkholes, underground streams, and caverns.
- Mantle: in molluscs, a fold of skin that encloses a space known as the mantle cavity, which contains the gills. The mantle is responsible for the secretion of the shell.
- Umbilicus: in gastropod molluscs, such as snails, a depression or hole on the underside of the shell, at the centre of the whorls (the spirals or coils of the shell). It is present in many but not all snail species.
- Whorl: in animals, a spiral or coil in the shell of a snail.
IUCN Red List (November, 2011)
- Gloer, P. and Georgiev, D. (2009) New Rissooidea from Bulgaria (Gastropoda: Rissooidea). Mollusca, 27: 123-136.
- Georgiev, D.G. (2011) New species of Belgrandiella (Wagner 1927) (Mollusca: Gastropoda) from caves in northern Bulgaria. Acta Zoologica Bulgarica, 63: 7-10.
- Hershler, R. and Ponder, W.F. (1998) A review of Morphological Characters of Hyrobioid Snails. Smithsonian Institute, Washington.
- Georgiev, D. (2011) New localities of four Bulgarian endemic Hydrobiidae species (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Risooidea). ZooNotes, 16: 1-4.
- Angelov, A.M. (2000) Mollusca: Gastropoda et Bivalvia Aquae Dulcis. Pensoft Publishers, Bulgaria.
- Clark, S. (2004) Hydrobiidae. In: Perez, K.E., Claark, S.A. and Lydeard, C. (Eds.) Showing Your Shells: A Primer to Freshwater Gastropod Identification. Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society, Tuscloosa, Alabama.
- Barker, G.M. (2001) The Biology of Terrestrial Molluscs. CABI Publishing, Oxford, UK.