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Lymnaea stagnalis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Diagnostic features

The large size, tall spire and swollen last whorl make this species one of the most distinctive lymnaeids.


Lymnaea stagnalis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Common name: European Pond Snail

Class Gastropoda

Subclass Heterobranchia

Order Hygrophila

Superfamily Lymnoidea

Family Lymnaeidae

Genus Lymnaea Lamarck, 1799

Original name: Helix stagnalis Linnaeus, 1758. Linnaeus, C. (1758). Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera,species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Edito decimal, reformata. Tomus 1. Laurentii Salvii, Holmiae [=Stockholm], i-iv, 1-824pp.

Type locality: Sweden.

Synonyms: Limnaea tasmanica Tenison Woods, 1876 and many others.

Biology and ecology

Amongst water weeds etc., in ponds. Very rarely seen in the wild in Australia. Feeds on algae and detritus. Egg mass a crescent-shaped jelly strip containing many small eggs. Development direct.

Additional information on the biology and ecology of members of this family can be found in Fauna of Australia, vol. 5B, p. 1069-1071.


Introduced from Europe, this species is found in a few ponds in Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart and Launceston and is sometimes seen in aquaria around the country.


This large species is found mainly in aquaria. It has a longer spire than other species found in Australia.

Further reading

Beesley, P. L., Ross, G. J. B. & Wells, A., Eds. (1998). Mollusca: The Southern Synthesis. Parts A & B. Melbourne, CSIRO Publishing.

Hubendick, B. (1951). Recent Lymnaeidae: their variation, morphology, taxonomy, nomenclature and distribution. Kungliga Sevenska Vetenskapsakademiens Handlingar 3: 1-223.

Kershaw, R. C. (1975). Tasmanian aquatic non-marine Mollusca. Part 1. Lymnaea. Tasmanian Naturalist 40: 1-4.

Kershaw, R. C. (1991). Snail and Slug Pests of Tasmania, Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery.

Ng, T.H., Tan, S.K., Wong, W.H., Meier, R., Chan, S-Y., Tan, H.H. and Yeo, D.C.J. 2016. Molluscs for Sale: Assessment of Freshwater Gastropods and Bivalves in the Ornamental Pet Trade. PLOS One. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0161130.

Smith, B. J. & Kershaw, R. C. (1979). Field guide to the non-marine Molluscs of South-eastern Australia. Canberra, A.N.U. Press.

Smith, B. J. & Kershaw, R. C. (1981). Tasmanian Land and Freshwater Molluscs. Hobart, University of Tasmania.