Garlic Snail - Oxychilus alliarius


    6-8mm - the Garlic Snail is pale, yellow-brown and glossy. It has a closely-coiled translucent shell with a very low spire and a medium umbilicus. The snail itself is characteristically dark blue-grey. When disturbed, this snail produces a secretion that smells strongly of garlic.

    Similar Species

    Whilst is not possible to be certain of this species from an image alone, the garlic smell from the the specimen is a  helpful feature. However Oxychilis navarricus also can produce a garlic smell, though not usually as strong. O. navarricus is larger (8-10mm) and has a black mantle that is usually obvious as a dark band just within the shell.

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance
    • 6-8mm
    • glossy shell
    • releases garlic smell when irritated
    • dark blue-grey body
    Recording advice

    Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required. In the comments box, describe the size and identifying characters.


    In moist situations in plant litter, moss, etc. Sometimes in gardens.

    Life History

    Plant and detritus feeder on algae and plant litter.

    UK Status

    Widespread and common throughout Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map