Door snails

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Door snails
Montenegro door snail (Montenegrina cattaroensis)

Montenegro door snail ( Montenegrina cattaroensis )

Subclass : Orthogastropoda
Superordinate : Heterobranchia
Order : Lung snails (pulmonata)
Subordination : Land snails (Stylommatophora)
Superfamily : Clausilioidea
Family : Door snails
Scientific name
Mørch , 1864

The door snails (Clausiliidae) are a family of snails from the suborder of the land snails (Stylommatophora). They are characterized by the so-called clausial device, which allows the animals to close the housing with a movable cover. The oldest representatives of the door snails appear in the Maastrichtian (? Campanium ). The largest examples of the generally rather small forms of this family reach a case height of up to 80 mm. They are widespread with numerous species, especially in southern Europe.


Door snails have a tall, tower-shaped wound shell into which they can completely withdraw. The case mouth has a typical shape with numerous folds, the shape and size of which is decisive for the determination. The housing surface is mostly smooth, but in some species it is also finely ribbed or provided with lamellar folds. The housing can be closed with a special housing lock, the clausilium , which is characteristic for the whole family . It consists of a spoon-shaped slab of lime with an elastic band that slides sideways into the casing when the snail crawls out of its casing. The door snails, which are rather inconspicuous in nature, reach casing lengths of only a few centimeters. In contrast to most species of snail, the shell of door snails is usually left-handed : When viewed from the front, the opening of the shell is on the left with the upper tip. Door snails are also known as "left-handed".

distribution and habitat

Door snails are distributed in numerous species across Europe, with a particular diversity of species in southern and eastern Europe up to the Mediterranean islands. Clausilien are land-dwelling and belong to the land snails ( Pulmonata ). Preferred locations are warm, humus-rich soils, e.g. Sometimes also dry locations. Some species live in forests on dead wood.


The particularly rich family is divided into nine subfamilies by H.Nordsieck (2007).


  1. Left-turning garden, forest and rock dwellers , NABU , December 2009 .


  • Rosina Fechter and Gerhard Falkner: molluscs. 287 pp., Mosaik-Verlag, Munich 1990 (Steinbach's Nature Guide 10) ISBN 3-570-03414-3
  • Jürgen H. Jungbluth and Dietrich von Knorre: Common names of land and freshwater mollusks in Germany (Gastropoda et Bivalvia). Mollusca, 26 (1): 105-156, Dresden 2008 ISSN  1864-5127 PDF
  • 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
  • Hartmut Nordsieck: Worldwide Door Snails (Clausiliidae), recent and fossil. 214 pp., ConchBooks, Hackenheim 2007. ISBN 978-3-939767-07-7

Web links

Commons : Door snails (Clausiliidae)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files