Grass snails

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Grass snails
Spiny litter snail (Acanthinula aculeata (OF Müller, 1774))

Spiny litter snail ( Acanthinula aculeata (OF Müller, 1774))

Subclass : Orthogastropoda
Superordinate : Heterobranchia
Order : Lung snails (pulmonata)
Subordination : Land snails (Stylommatophora)
Superfamily : Pupilloidea
Family : Grass snails
Scientific name
Morse , 1864

The grass snails (Valloniidae) are a family of snails from the suborder of the land snails (Stylommatophora). About 70 species are currently described.


The housing shape is very variable within the family; from flat conical to highly conical. The very small to small housings are up to about 5 mm high and about 3.5 mm wide. They have 3 to 3.5 turns (in Vallonia ), over 4 in Acanthinula and up to 6 whorls in Spermodea . The mouth is usually without teeth or swellings. The navel is wide and open. The shell is thin and translucent. The surface is smooth, covered with free growth strips or with ribs; in Acanthinula the ribs on the periphery are drawn out into triangular processes. The color ranges from gray-white to yellow-brown.

The penis and epiphallus are present in the hermaphroditic genital apparatus. The prostate consists of a few lobes at the base of the albumin gland. A blind sac (caecum) and an appendix are usually attached to the penis. The stem of the spermathec is relatively short; a pedicel diverticulum is sometimes present.

Geographical distribution and habitat

The distribution of the family is Holarctic . The species of the subfamily Acanthinulinae are often found in moist forests, the species of Valloniinae colonize grass-covered, open locations often near rivers.


The family of grass snails (Valloniidae) is one of 13 families of the superfamily Pupilloidea . Other authors place them in the superfamily Orculoidea (which in turn is not recognized by most authors). It is not further subdivided by Bouchet and Rocroi (2005). Schileyko (1998), on the other hand, excludes the two subfamilies Valloniinae and Acanthinulinae. Vollrath Wiese followed this breakdown in 2014.

supporting documents


  • Philippe Bouchet & Jean-Pierre Rocroi: Part 2. Working classification of the Gastropoda . Malacologia, 47: 239-283, Ann Arbor 2005 ISSN  0076-2997
  • Rosina Fechter and Gerhard Falkner: molluscs. 287 pp., Mosaik-Verlag, Munich 1990 (Steinbach's Nature Guide 10) ISBN 3-570-03414-3 .
  • Michael P. Kerney, RAD Cameron & Jürgen H. Jungbluth: The land snails of Northern and Central Europe. 384 pp., Paul Parey, Hamburg & Berlin 1983, ISBN 3-490-17918-8 .
  • Anatolij A. Schileyko: Treatise on Recent terrestrial pulmonate molluscs, Part 1. Achatinellidae, Amastridae, Orculidae, Strobilopsidae, Spelaeodiscidae, Valloniidae, Cochlicopidae, Pupillidae, Chondrinidae, Pyramidulidae. Ruthenica, Supplement 2 (1): 1-127, Moscow 1998 ISSN  0136-0027
  • Vollrath Wiese: Germany's land snails. 352 pp., Quelle & Meyer, Wiebelsheim 2014 ISBN 978-3-494-01551-4 (p. 92)

Web links

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