River Limpet - Ancylus fluviatilis


3-8mm. Ancylus fluviatilis is a species of very small, freshwater, air-breathing limpet, the shell has a conical, backwardly directed apex. Oval to round. It is fairly dull brown to black in colour and shows fine growth lines.

Similar Species

The Lake Limpet, A. lacustris, has a flatter profile and the apex of the shell is pointed to one side.

Identification difficulty

A bottom living species found in unpolluted running water of all kinds where it adheres to the sides of stones in moderate flows  It also lives on stones in the wave zone of lakes.

When to see it

All year round.

Life History

Sensitive to pollution but is usually excluded from suitable habitat only by chronic pollution as it will normally recolonize lost territory after incidents.

UK Status

Widespread and fairly frequent in Britain.

VC55 Status

Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map