Grain snails

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Grain snails
Western oat grain snail (Chondrina avenacea)

Western oat grain snail ( Chondrina avenacea )

Subclass : Orthogastropoda
Superordinate : Heterobranchia
Order : Lung snails (pulmonata)
Subordination : Land snails (Stylommatophora)
Superfamily : Pupilloidea
Family : Grain snails
Scientific name
Steenberg , 1925

The grain snails (Chondrinidae) are a family of snails from the suborder of the land snails (Stylommatophora). The family includes around 60 species, most of which are found in the western Palearctic .


The housings are highly conical and slightly spindle-shaped. They are around 5 to 10 mm high. The mouth is usually wide turned, into the mouth usually protrude over 10 teeth and folds. The outside is smooth or finely ribbed. Mostly they are dark brown or horn-colored. A penis with an epiphallus is formed in the hermaphroditic genital apparatus. The inner wall of the penis is folded internally. The border between the penis and epiphallus is marked by a blind sac ( caecum ); however, this can also be missing. The penis retractor starts below the middle of the penis. The epiphallus gradually merges into the spermatic duct ( vas deferens ).

Occurrence and way of life

The family is prevalent in southwest Asia, southern Europe, and northern Africa. The old world occurrence extends in the north to Central Europe, in the east to the Kopet Dag (in the border region of Turkmenistan and Iran ), in the southeast to the Arabian Peninsula. The westernmost natural occurrences are in the Canary Islands. The animals live on rocks and feed on endolithic lichens by grazing . To do this, the surface of the rock (including the lichens) is rasped off with the help of the radula.


According to Bouchet & Rocroi (2005), the family of grain snails (Chondrinidae) is one of 13 families in the superfamily Pupilloidea . Schileyko (1998), on the other hand, places them in a superfamily Chondrinoidea, to which he also places the pyramid snails (Pyramidulidae) in addition to the Chondrinidae . The division of the family into two subfamilies and six genera is based on Kokshoorn (2008). Schileyko (1998) uses a different classification at the genus level ( Granopupa as a subgenus to Chondrina , Rupestrella as a synonym for it), but this has not been generally recognized and is not supported by Kokshoorn's investigations. Other genera (e.g. Fauxulus , Odontocyclas ), which Schileyko (1998) classify as Chondrinidae, belong, in the opinion of most malacologists, to the Orculidae family .

  • Corn snails (Chondrinidae Steenberg, 1925)
  • Subfamily Chondrininae
  • Subfamily Granariinae


  • Karl Heinz Beckmann: Elements of a revision of the endemic Rupestrelles of Sicily. In: Margrit Falkner, Klaus Groh and Martin CD Speight (eds.): Collectanea Malacologica, Festschrift for Gerhard Falkner, pp. 49–78, ConchBooks, Hackenheim 2002 ISBN 3-925919-61-9 )
  • Rosina Fechter, Gerhard Falkner: Mollusks. 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
  • Bas Kokshoorn. Resolving riddles and presenting new puzzles in Chondrinidae phylogenetics . Thesis Leiden University 2008. Parts are available for download (This work is not published within the International Rules for Zoological Nomenclature ; it has a "Nomenclatorial Disclaimer").
  • 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

Web links

Commons : Corn snails (Chondrinidae)  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files