World Exclusive! Glutinous Snail caught on video 2015

15th January 2015

We have video of Europe’s most threatened snail grazing, behaviour no-one has witnessed before!

The Glutinous Snail Myxas glutinosa is small, delicate, and rather cute little snail restricted to just one site in the UK, and threatened across its European range.  A small number of snails have been taken into captivity on a hopeful mission to understand it better and save it from extinction.

Ecologist Ian Hughes has set up a tank in his basement to breed the snails, with the aim to establish the species at other sites in the future.  Along the way, we hope to learn more about how the snail behaves and what it needs – so very little is known about this species.


A sequence of photographs showing a Glutinous Snail grazing on the side of a glass tank.

Ian says:

“The following is a clip of a glutinous snail caught feeding for the first time. They are usually either hiding or resting. Of course when I spotted this going on in the basement, the camera was in the car, the SD card was in the computer and the battery was charging in the bedroom. I jumped into my wellies to run out to the car only to find they were full of icy cold water because I’d hung my wet wetsuit above them. What a twit!

“Anyway…. this is genuinely the first so has that ‘something special’ about it.  He/she is also having a poo just to show that the bowels are in good order too!”

Watch the video here.

We’ll be posting more from Ian in the future so stay tuned for more misadventures.

This work is part of our project to protect 18 of the most critical pond species in Wales.  It was made possible by a grant from the Resilient Ecosystems Fund, funded by Welsh Government, administered by Natural Resources Wales, and assessed by the Wales Biodiversity Partnership.