Shiny Glass Snail - Zonitoides nitidus


The shell is 6 to 7 mm wide, 3.5 to 4 mm high, dark brown and shiny. The shell has irregular, low wrinkle-like striae and a total of 4 1/2 to 5 whorls. The body of the snail is black with a dull orange spot on the mantle. This orange spot can be seen through the shell in contracted individuals.

Identification difficulty
ID guidance
  • 6-7mm
  • dark brown, shiny shell
  • black body
  • orange spot on the mantle visible through the shell
Recording advice

Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo should be attached which shows the characteristic orange spot or in the comments box, describe the size and identifying characters.


This species generally lives damper areas such as marshes, greenhouses and wet areas along the edges of rivers, lakes and ponds where it can be found under wood, rocks, and vegetation.

When to see it

All year round.

Life History

These snails are carnivores and have been noted to be cannibals. This species reproduces mainly by self-fertilization.

UK Status

Widespread in Britain, though less common in northern England and Scotland.

VC55 Status

Status in Leicestershire and Rutland not known.

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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