Radix balthica

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Radix balthica
Radix balthica 01.JPG
Five views of a shell of Radix balthica
Scientific classification
R. balthica
Binomial name
Radix balthica
(Linnaeus, 1758)[1]
  • Limnaea ovata Draparnaud, 1805
  • Limneus ovatus Draparnaud, 1805[2]
  • Lymnaea ovata Draparnaud, 1805
  • Lymnaea ovata var. amnicola Westerlund, 1890
  • Radix (Radix) limosa (Linnaeus, 1758) (junior synonym)
  • Radix (Radix) limosa ovata (Draparnaud, 1805) (junior synonym)
  • Radix ovata (Draparnaud, 1805)
  • Radix peregra ovata (Draparnaud, 1805) (junior synonym)

Radix balthica, common name the wandering snail, is a species of air-breathing freshwater snail, an aquatic pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Lymnaeidae, the pond snails.[3]


The taxonomic status of certain species in the genus Radix has been disputed. Remigio (2002) reported sequence divergence within the 16S mitochondrial gene of Radix peregra and Radix ovata.[4] Furthermore, the shell morphology and alloenzyme data indicated that Radix peregra and Radix ovata are distinct.[5][6]

In contrast, Bargues et al. (2001) considered on the basis of ITS-2 sequence analysis, that R. peregra, R. ovata, and R. balthica are in fact a conspecific species.[7]


All of Europe East to western Siberia, and also north Africa, Asia Minor and Afghanistan.Eurosiberian Wide Temperate. This species is found in European countries and islands including:


The complete mitochondrial genome of Radix balthica has been obtained by shotgun sequencing and it has been released in 2010.[9] The length of the mitochondrial DNA is 13,993 nucleotides.[9] It contains 37 genes.[9]


Radix balthica lives in rivers and creeks, streams and streamlets and stagnant waters.It has high degrees of tolerance to pH levels, salinity concentrations and temperature conditions but it prefers calcareous waters (Welter-Schulte 2009).

Reproduction: The animals are hermaphrodite like all species of Lymnaeidae, but have separate sexual apertures and are not inbreeding. During copulation the snail playing the role of the male overlaps on the snail playing female presenting "his" penis to the opening of the "female". Several individuals can overlap in this way, some at the same time simultaneously playing the role of the male and the female.The eggs are laid in gelatinous cords about 1 cm. long on hard substrate, rocks, wood, or water plants. The development is via yolk-rich eggs from which hatch developed animalcules which are miniature version of the parents (there is no larval stage).Copulation and oviposition takes place from March when the animals are about 1 year old and this species has a generation length of 1 year.

Respiratory:This snail breathes air through a lung, but also absorbs oxygen from the water through the skin. Its short and large antennas increase the surface of the skin, allowing it to absorb more oxygen. This snail blood contains haemocyanin, giving the head and foot a pale green colour The animals can change their density by movements of the muscles of the mantle and quickly rise to the surface of the water or quickly drop to the bottom.

Food: Radix balthica feeds on algae and bacterial biofilms on hard substrate, also on detritus on soft bottoms.In some habitats mainly green algae and protozoans are consumed, in others mainly detritus.Radix balthica does not eat plants in good health.

Parasites of Radix balthica include trematode Aspidogaster limacoides.[10]


  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. ^ Draparnaud J.-P.-R. (1805). Histoire naturelle des mollusques terrestres et fluviatiles de la France. Ouvrage posthume. Avec XIII planches. pp. [1-9], j-viij [= 1-8], 1-134, [Pl. 1-13]. Paris, Montpellier. (Plassan, Renaud).
  3. ^ Neubauer, Thomas A.; Rosenberg, G.; Gofas, S. (2014). Radix balthica (Linnaeus, 1758). In: MolluscaBase (2016). Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=248264 on 2017-01-10
  4. ^ e., R. (2002). "Molecular phylogenetic relationships in the aquatic snail genus Lymnaea , the intermediate host of the causative agent of fascioliasis: Insights from broader taxon sampling". Parasitology Research. 88 (7): 687–696. doi:10.1007/s00436-002-0658-8. PMID 12107463.
  5. ^ Glöer P., Meier-Brook C., Osterman O. (1987). Süsswassermollusken: ein Bestimmungsschlüssel für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Deutscher Jugendbund für Naturbeobachtung, Hamburg.
  6. ^ Ward, P. I.; Goater, C. P.; Mikos, M. (1997). "Shell variation in sympatric freshwater Lymnaea peregra and L. Ovata (Gastropoda: Lymnaeidae)". Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 61: 139–149. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.1997.tb01782.x.
  7. ^ Bargues, M. D.; Vigo, M.; Horak, P.; Dvorak, J.; Patzner, R. A.; Pointier, J. P.; Jackiewicz, M.; Meier-Brook, C.; Mas-Coma, S. (2001). "European Lymnaeidae (Mollusca: Gastropoda), intermediate hosts of trematodiases, based on nuclear ribosomal DNA ITS-2 sequences". Infection, Genetics and Evolution. 1 (2): 85–107. doi:10.1016/S1567-1348(01)00019-3. PMID 12798024.
  8. ^ a b (in Czech) Horsák M., Juřičková L., Beran L., Čejka T. & Dvořák L. (2010). "Komentovaný seznam měkkýšů zjištěných ve volné přírodě České a Slovenské republiky. [Annotated list of mollusc species recorded outdoors in the Czech and Slovak Republics]". Malacologica Bohemoslovaca, Suppl. 1: 1-37. PDF.
  9. ^ a b c Feldmeyer B., Hoffmeier K. & Pfenninger M. (2010). "The complete mitochondrial genome of Radix balthica (Pulmonata, Basommatophora), obtained by low coverage shot gun next generation sequencing". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 57(3): 1329-1333. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2010.09.012.
  10. ^ Alevs, Philippe V.; Vieira, Fabiano M.; Santos, Cláudia P.; Scholz, Tomáš; Luque, José L. (2015-02-12). "A Checklist of the Aspidogastrea (Platyhelminthes: Trematoda) of the World". Zootaxa. 3918 (3): 339–96. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3918.3.2. ISSN 1175-5334. PMID 25781098.

External links[edit]

  • Radix balthica at Animalbase taxonomy,short description, distribution, biology,status (threats), images
  • Pfenninger M., Salinger M., Haun T. & Feldmeyer B. (2011). "Factors and processes shaping the population structure and distribution of genetic variation across the species range of the freshwater snail Radix balthica (Pulmonata, Basommatophora)". BMC Evolutionary Biology 11: 135. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-11-135.