Glutinous snail (Myxas glutinosa)

GenusMyxas (1)
SizeWidth: 1.2 cm (2)
Height: 1.5 cm (2)

Listed as Data Deficient by the IUCN (1), listed as Endangered in the GB Red List, Vulnerable throughout Europe and fully protected by Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. A UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority species (3).

The glutinous snail has a translucent glossy shell, which is very fragile and amber in colour. The aperture (opening) is relatively large (2), and the voluminous mantle nearly covers the shell, causing the snail to feel sticky when handled, hence the common name (4).

The glutinous snail is found in Europe from Switzerland to Scandinavia and west to the UK (1) (3). Eastern European records are sparse. In the UK it is recorded (2002) in one lake site in North Wales. At a historic site in Oxfordshire where it was re-recorded in 1989, it has not been found since 1993 although annual surveys are conducted.

Found in slow-flowing, spacious water bodies (2) with clear, hard water which is free from sediment and nitrate and phosphate pollution (3). They also require a firm substrate (2).

Little is known of the biology of this species.

Highly sensitive to physical disturbance and pollution (3).

The glutinous snail is a priority species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP). The Species Action Plan aims to protect and maintain the existing population, and undertake research into the ecology of the species. This work is co-ordinated by the Environment Agency. Under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, it is an offence to take, kill or injure the species, or damage its habitat (2).

To find out more about this species, see:

Information authenticated by the Environment Agency:

  1. IUCN Red List (December, 2009)