Water quality for Bythinella austriaca

Bythinella austriaca is a freshwater snail from the family Amnicolidae (or Hydrobiidae – depends on the taxonomic view). Its distribution area is Eastern Alpine and Carpathian. It lives in springs and in rivulets only. It is a small snail with the height of the shell up to 3.3 mm.

I collected 10 of these snails. I have put them into a plastic translucent test-tube with some water from the rivulet. I have put the tube into my bag and I was travelling the whole very hot day (the archive shows, that it was 26 °C). Then I have put the tube with snails into the fridge (with a normal temperature about 7 °C) at the evening. The average annual temperature in the Czech republic is about 7 °C therefore such temperature is in all springs. These snails must be well adapted to such temperature and they can be considered as stenothermic species (capable of living or surviving within a very narrow temperature range).

Next day I wanted to take photos of snails. I have taken a larger plastic box, I have put a cold tap water into the box. I have taken a tube form the fridge and emptied the tube with water and snails into the box. Then I taken some photos.

Ventral view of Bythinella austriaca and apertural view of the shell:

Bythinella austriacaLeft side view:

Bythinella austriacaThe snail tries to crawl on the wall:

Bythinella austriacaThe snail is upside down and its operculum is visible on this photo:

Bythinella austriacaIt was good to see, that snails are still alive. This means that they survived temperatures over 20 °C previous day. But then they started to die very quickly during photographing and within a half of an hour they were all dead. I do not know what exactly killed them, but possibilities are: 1) they got a shock when they were moved from 7 °C to temperatures above 20 °C; 2) they had not enough oxygen; 3) the quality of normal drinking tap water is not sufficient for Bythinella austriaca. Or combination of all these things.


Horsák M., Juřičková L. & Picka J. 2013: Měkkýši České a Slovenské republiky. Molluscs of the Czech and Slovak Republics. Kabourek, Zlín, 264 pp. (in Czech and English). page 29 and 45.

http://www.e-pocasi.cz/archiv-pocasi/2013/20-cervence/#olomoucky e-Počasí.cz, accessed 27 July 2014

Photo of the day (30): Oxyloma elegans

Oxyloma elegans is a hygrophilous land snail from the family Succineidae. Oxyloma elegans inhabits water margins on sunny places with cattail Typha sp. or with other plants. This looks like a great locality for Oxyloma elegans, because it it sunny, the habitat with water margin is large and it has suitable plants:

locality of Oxyloma elegansSome dead plants on the water margin:

habitat of Oxyloma elegansDetail of the debris:

debris on the shoreThere are visible many Oxyloma elegans snails among the remnants of dead plants. More than 15 snails are visible on the same place on the photo. All of them are Oxyloma elegans. The sandpit is quite new and there were no freshwater snails yet and there were no other wetland snail species. Other succineids such as Succinea putris did not invaded the locality yet and Oxyloma elegans occupied all suitable places there.

many Oxyloma elegansLeft side view of Oxyloma elegans in situ:

Oxyloma elegans in situLeft side view in the lab:

Oxyloma elegans 2Right side view in the lab:

Oxyloma elegans 3Top view in the lab:

Oxyloma elegans 4View of the foot in the lab:

Oxyloma elegans 5References

Horsák M., Juřičková L. & Picka J. 2013: Měkkýši České a Slovenské republiky. Molluscs of the Czech and Slovak Republics. Kabourek, Zlín, 264 pp. (in Czech and English). page 65.