Trochulus oreinos

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Trochulus oreinos
Trochulus oreinos 1.jpg
A live individual of Trochulus oreinos oreinos
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Heterobranchia
clade Euthyneura
clade Panpulmonata
clade Eupulmonata
clade Stylommatophora
informal group Sigmurethra
Superfamily: Helicoidea
Family: Hygromiidae
Genus: Trochulus
Species: T. oreinos
Binomial name
Trochulus oreinos
(A. J. Wagner, 1915)
  • Fruticicola hispida oreinos
  • Trichia hispida oreinos
  • Trichia oreinos
  • Trochulus hispidus scheerpeltzi
  • Trichia hispida scheerpeltzi

Trochulus oreinos is a species of small, air-breathing land snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Hygromiidae, the hairy snails and their allies. This species is endemic to Austria.

This hariy-shelled snail was once confused with Trochulus hispidus, which it superficially resembles. There are two subspecies within this species. This snail prefers to live in open areas, unlike most other species in the genus, which prefer damp and shade.


Trochulus oreinos comprises two subspecies: T. o. oreinos (Wagner, 1915) in Lower Austria and Styria and T. o. scheerpeltzi (Mikula, 1954) in Upper Austria. Both taxa were originally described as regional subspecies of Trochulus hispidus.[2][3] Later these two subspecies were split from Trochulus hispidus and placed in a separate species because of differences in hair morphology.[4][5] Current comprehensive research,[6][7][8] based on molecular, morphological and ecological analyses, confirm this split from T. hispidus. Additionally it was pointed out that both subspecies represent separated mitochondrial lines,[6] although there do exist morphologically intermediate forms.


Trochulus oreinos can be separated from other representatives of the same genus by its small, curled hairs, which have a length of 0.03–0.09 mm.[6] Like the other representatives of this genus, older individuals and empty shells have often lost the hairs on the shell. The shell is flat to slightly globular, and the shell width is 5.4–7.5 mm (0.21–0.30 in). Other marks are irregular, coarse ridges on the shell and an internal rib with a basal tooth in the peristome, visible as yellow structure from the outside.[2][3][6]

The subspecies T. o. scheerpeltzi is characterized by a groove beneath the keel,[3] but there are intermediate forms between the two subspecies with an incomplete or weakly developed groove.[4][6]

While the gross anatomy of the reproductive system is similar to that of T. hispidus,[3][6] both species can be unambiguously differentiated by the internal fold pattern of the penis.[8]

Habitat and distribution[edit]

Trochulus oreinos does not live in forests, but instead inhabits primarily boulders, screes and alpine grassland,[6][8] especially alpine meadows with patchy vegetation coverage, dominated by the sedge species Carex firma,[7] in the Northern Calcareous Alps. Its vertical distribution reaches from the lower subalpine regions to the alpine ecotone, i.e. elevations of 1,400–2,300 metres (4,600–7,500 ft).[6][7][9][10] The habitat preferences of this species are in contrast to those of the majority of other representatives of the genus Trochulus, which prefer damp and shady habitats.[6][7] The distribution range reaches from Schneeberg mountain in Lower Austria to Höllengebirge in Upper Austria.[6][9][10] Like the helicid snail Cylindrus obtusus, this species is suspected to be an ancient native East-alpine endemic, which survived the glacial times on ice-free parts of the north-eastern alpine margins.[7]


  1. ^ Falkner, G.; M. Falkner & T. von Proschwitz (2011). "Trochulus oreinos". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2011: e.T22110A9360844. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-1.RLTS.T22110A9360844.en. Retrieved 9 January 2018. 
  2. ^ a b Wagner, A.J. 1915. Beiträge zur Anatomie und Systematik der Stylomatophoren aus dem Gebiet der Monarchie und der angrenzenden Balkanländer. Denkschriften der Österrerreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (mathematisch-naturwissenschaftliche Klasse), 91: 429–498.
  3. ^ a b c d Mikula, E. 1957. Trochulus hispidus scheerpeltzi n. Subsp. Archiv für Molluskenkunde, 86: 91–92.
  4. ^ a b Falkner, G. 1982. Zur Problematik der Gattung Trichia(Pulmonata, Helicidae) in Mitteleuropa. Mitteilungen der Deutschen Malakologischen Gesellschaft, 3: 30–33.
  5. ^ Falkner, G. 1995. Beiträge zur Nomenklatur europäischer Binnenmollusken, VII. Nomenklaturnotizen zu europäischen Hygromiidae (Gastropoda: Stylommatophora). Heldia. Münchner malakologische Mitteilungen, 2: 97–107.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Duda, M. Sattmann, H., Haring, E., Bartel, D., Winkler, H., Harl, J. & Kruckenhauser. 2010. Genetic Differentiation and Shell Morphology of Trochulus oreinos (Wagner, 1915) and T. hispidus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Pulmonata: Hygromiidae) in the Northeastern Alps. Journal of Molluscan Studies 2010; doi:10.1093/mollus/eyq037
  7. ^ a b c d e Duda, M., Kruckenhauser, L., Haring, E. & Sattmann, H. 2010. Habitat requirements of the pulmonate land snails Trochulus oreinos oreinos and Cylindrus obtusus endemic to the Northern Calcareous Alps, Austria. Eco.mont 2/2: 5-12
  8. ^ a b c Duda, M., Kruckenhauser L., Sattmann, H., Harl, J., Jaksch, K. & Haring, E., 2014. Differentiation in the Trochulus hispidus complex and related taxa (Pulmonata: Hygromiidae): Morphology, ecology and their relation to phylogeography Journal of Molluscan Studies 2014; doi:10.1093/mollus/eyu023
  9. ^ a b Klemm, W. 1974. Die Verbreitung der rezenten Land-Gehäuse-Schnecken in Österreich. Denkschriften der Österrerreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (mathematisch-naturwissenschaftliche Klasse), 117: 1-503
  10. ^ a b Reischütz, A. & Reischütz, P. L. 2009. Mollusca (Weichtiere). In: Endemiten – Kostbarkeiten in Österreichs Pflanzen- und Tierwelt. (W. Rabitsch & F. Essl, eds.) , pp. 318-376. Naturwissenschaftlicher Verein für Kärnten & Umweltbundesamt GmbH, Klagenfurt & Wien

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