Desmoulin's whorl snail
|Desmoulin's whorl snail|
|Vertigo moulinsiana Holotype MHNT|
Desmoulin's whorl snail, scientific name Vertigo moulinsiana, is a species of minute air-breathing land snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusc or micromollusc in the family Vertiginidae, the whorl snails.
This species was named in honor of the early 19th century French naturalist, Charles des Moulins.
The distribution of this species is Atlantic (the part of the Palearctic area which is under the direct climatic influence of the Atlantic Ocean), and southern-European.
Within Western Europe, only the populations in England (Great Britain) and Ireland are considered to be viable, although further populations exist in the Czech Republic (critically endangered, occupying White Carpathians Biospehere Reserve, Kokořínsko Landscape Protected Area and Southern Moravia), in Poland (critically endangered) and elsewhere in Europe (for example: Netherlands, France). Its conservation status in the Czech Republic in 2004-2006 is favourable (FV) in the report for the European Commission in accordance with the Habitats Directive. Its conservation status in Spain is endangered and it occurs in two localities only: near Estañá lake and near Lake of Banyoles.
Distribution of other European countries include Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Its distribution also include Algeria and Morocco, but it is possibly extinct in Algeria.
The shell is dextral, minute, ovate, ventricose, obtuse at apex, smoothish, subperforate. Aperture is semiovate, 4-toothed: 1 tooth on the parietal wall, another on the columella, and two palatals, the lower one longer. The shell has 4 whorls, parted by a distinct suture, the last doubly larger than all the others together. Rather solid, glossy, subpellucid and of a uniform fulvous color.
The shell of this species reaches about 3 mm in length. The shell is yellowish or brownish and translucent.
Status in the United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, Desmoulin's whorl snail is listed as endangered, although it occurs in a number of areas in a band from Norfolk to Dorset, with outlying populations in Kent and the Llŷn Peninsula in North Wales and has probably been under-reported in the past because of its minute size. Its presence on the site of the planned Newbury bypass caused the building of that road to be postponed; the building works were able to go ahead once the snails had been moved to a new habitat nearby. It is reported to have since died out at the new site, but the same report states "Desmoulin's whorl snail is now considered less scarce than it was 10 years ago".
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This article incorporates public domain text from reference.
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- Vertigo moulinsiana at Encyclopedia of Life
- Vertigo moulinsiana at Animalbase taxonomy,short description, distribution, biology,status (threats), images
- Close-up photo of the shell of Vertigo moulinsiana