Mating of Xerolenta obvia

Xerolenta obvia is a hygromiid land snail. As its distribution area is referred Pontic region, but it occurs from Asia Minor to the Baltic Sea and to eastern France.


It lives in open dry grassy habitats. It is xerophilic (drought-resistant) and thermophilic species (lives in relatively high temperatures). This species hibernates in winter and it aestivates during summer for few months.


Aestivating Xerolenta obvia:


A group of aestivating Xerolenta obvia:


Epiphragm of Xerolenta obvia:


It is a hermaphrodite land snail. It means, that one snail specimen has both sexes. Snails tranfer its sperm during mating. Later cross-fertilization occur. After some time later it lays separated 7-95 uncalcified eggs in a single clutch.


They reach sexual maturity in one year or later. For example in one area in Greece they reach maturity in 8 months after egg was layed (7 months after hatching), but they die after egg laying in the age about 1 year. In another area of Greece they reach sexual maturity in 1.5 years after egg was layed (= 18 months) and they have lived 2 years. Other source refer to longevity 2-3 years.


In Mediterranean they are mating and egg laying in autumn only. In Central Europe they are mating and egg laying from late spring to to early summer. It is mating in October (in Greece) after the aestivation in only few days.


I have found photos of mating of this species neither in the literature nor on the internet. I have taken 5 snails from the locality shown above to home at 3rd August 2011 and the later day I have recored the mating of them. Photos are in chronological order, but they are showing the same position all the time:


4th August 2011 06:25






Video of mating of Xerolenta obvia (30 seconds at 06:32):





Video of the last six minutes of mating:



Irikov A. & Mollov I. (2006). Terrestrial gastropods (Mollusca: Gastropoda) of the western Rhodopes (Bulgaria). pp. 753-832. In: Beron P.: Biodiversity of Bulgaria. 3. Biodiversity of western Rhodopes (Bulgaria and Greece) I.


Falkner G., Obrdlík P., Castella E. & Speight M. C. D. (2001). Shelled Gastropoda of Western Europe. München: Friedrich-Held-Gesellschaft, 267 pp.


Lazaridou M. & Chatziioannou M. (2005). Differences in the life histories of Xerolenta obvia (Menke, 1828) (Hygromiidae) in a coastal and a mountainous area of northern Greece. Journal of Molluscan Studies 71(3): 247-252. doi:10.1093/mollus/eyi032 abstract


(in Slovak) Lisický M. J. (1991). Mollusca Slovenska [The Slovak molluscs]. VEDA vydavateľstvo Slovenskej akadémie vied, Bratislava, 344 pp.


Species summary for Xerolenta obvia“. AnimalBase, last modified 22 March 2011, accessed 5 December 2011.


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