Pupilla muscorum

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Pupilla muscorum
Pupilla muscorum.jpg
Six shells of Pupilla muscorum, scale bar in mm
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Heterobranchia

clade Euthyneura
clade Panpulmonata
clade Eupulmonata
clade Stylommatophora
informal group Orthurethra

Superfamily: Pupilloidea
Family: Pupillidae
Genus: Pupilla
Species: P. muscorum
Binomial name
Pupilla muscorum
(Linnaeus, 1758)[1]

Turbo muscorum Linnaeus, 1758

Pupilla muscorum is a species of minute air-breathing land snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk or micromollusk in the family Pupillidae.


A variety Pupilla muscorum var. pratensis Clessin, 1871 considered as ecophenotype of Pupilla muscorum was elevated to its species level Pupilla pratensis in 2009.[2]

aperture and body whorl of the shell of Pupilla muscorum


The shell is usually light brown, varies from reddish brown to horny grey, weakly striated or almost smooth, 5-6.5 weakly convex whorls, suture not very deep, aperture usually with well-developed lip, cervical callus strongly developed, like a dam, parietal tooth usually present, palatal tooth sometimes too.[3]

Pupilla muscorum differs from Pupilla pratensis with which it lives sympatrically, in its thicker, smaller and more slender shell, lighter and more variable colour and stronger apertural lip.[3]

The animal of Pupilla muscorum is small, elliptical, dark with lighter sides and foot, upper tentacles not very long, lower tentacles very short.[3]

The height of the shell is 3.0-4.0 mm. The width of the shell is 1.65-1.75 mm (shell diameter does not vary much).[3]


This species of land snail occurs in the Northern Hemisphere including almost all of Europe. It is recorded as present in countries and islands including:


Pupilla muscorum lives in dry meadows, sand dunes, in open and sunny habitats.[3] Calciphile.[3] In Portugal it is found under stones, dead leaves and in mosses.[3] In Britain it is frequent in sheep-grazed calcareous grasslands.[3] In the Alps in up to 2400 m, in Bulgaria 1200 m.[3]

Ovoviviparous, the species is able to hibernate with its eggs, and can then release eggs with partly grown embryos during more favourable seasons.[3]


This article incorporates public domain text from the reference.[3]

  1. ^ Linnaeus C. (1758). Systema Naturae per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. pp. [1-4], 1-824. Holmiae. (Salvius).
  2. ^ von Proschwitz T., Schander C. , Jueg U. & Thorkildsen S. (2009). "Morphology, ecology and DNA-barcoding distinguish Pupilla pratensis (Clessin, 1871) from Pupilla muscorum (Linnaeus, 1758) (Pulmonata: Pupillidae)". Journal of Molluscan Studies 75(4): 315-322. doi:10.1093/mollus/eyp038.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Species summary for Pupilla muscorum". AnimalBase. Last modified 30-01-2010, accessed 30 July 2010.
  4. ^ Balashov I. & Gural-Sverlova N. 2012. An annotated checklist of the terrestrial molluscs of Ukraine. Journal of Conchology. 41 (1): 91-109.
  5. ^ Pokryszko B. M., Auffenberg K., Hlaváč J. Č. & Naggs F. (2009). "Pupilloidea of Pakistan (Gastropoda: Pulmonata): Truncatellininae, Vertigininae, Gastrocoptinae, Pupillinae (In Part)". Annales Zoologici 59(4): 423-458. doi:10.3161/000345409X484847.

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