The ecology and conservation of the glutinous snail Myxas Glutinosa (Müller) in Great Britain: A review

M. Whitfield*, R. Carlsson, J. Biggs, D Walker, A Corfield, G. Fox, P. Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (SciVal)


The Glutinous Snail, Myxas glutinosa (Müller), is Britain's rarest freshwater snail, and one of the rarest freshwater molluscs in Europe. Formerly widespread but scarce in Britain, the species had become extremely rare by the middle of the 20th century and, since 1970, has been seen at only one site, near Oxford, where it was found between 1988 and 1993. Regular searches since then have failed to relocate the species at this site and there are currently no known Myxas sites in Great Britain. A review of old records for Myxas indicates that in the past the species was most commonly recorded in ditch systems in river valleys and marshes and was often abundant where it was found. It has been recorded in association with a wide variety of substrates, including stone, masonry, vegetation and mud. Myxas is generally thought to be very sensitive to water pollution, particularly eutrophication, and it has been hypothesised that its decline is due to the general deterioration in water quality that has occurred this century. As there are currently no known sites for Myxas in Great Britain the most pressing conservation priorities for this species are (i) to locate and protect any remaining populations in Britain, (ii) to ensure that all known populations within its European range are protected from potentially damaging environmental impacts and (iii) to undertake detailed autecological studies of extant populations to improve understanding of the ecology of remaining populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-222
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Conchology
Issue numberSPEC.ISS
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Conservation status
  • Distribution
  • Europe
  • Myxas glutinosa


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