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oval ambersnail

Succinea ovalis

What do they look like?

This snail is approximately 3/5 of an inch in length with 2 1/2 whorls in its shell. The amber snail has a greenish-yellow, thin, translucent shell with transverse growth wrinkles. The aperature (opening) is a large, oval that is over 1/2 the length of the shell. The spire at the top of the shell is very short. The animal has an orangish colored foot and sometimes has a yellowish color at the edge of its foot. The back is gray or black with pale vein-like marks. The sides usually have short black or gray stripes, and the tail has a dark patch. Tentacles are dark gray.

  • Average length
    15.24 mm
    0.60 in

Where do they live?

Amber snails are found world-wide. They are common throughout the United States and are found in Michigan.

What kind of habitat do they need?

Amber snails are found in weeds, leaf mold, open fields, grasses, under boards, and among rubbish along roadsides.

How long do they live?

The lifespan of snails with thin, translucent shells is typically shorter that the lifespan for those with heavily calcified shells. These may live for one year.

  • Average lifespan
    Status: wild
    1.0 years

How do they behave?

Amber snails are able to tolerate dry periods, and when conditions warrant, will estivate or go dormant. They can survive being dried out for 5 to 10 days.

This snail is capable of retracting its tentacles.

What do they eat?

These snails feed on fungi, algae, and diatoms.

What eats them and how do they avoid being eaten?

What roles do they have in the ecosystem?

Amber snails may harbor various parasites. It may be an intermediate host of trematode worm arasites of birds.

University of Michigan Museum of ZoologyNational Science Foundation

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. "Succinea ovalis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed May 29, 2024 at

BioKIDS is sponsored in part by the Interagency Education Research Initiative. It is a partnership of the University of Michigan School of Education, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, and the Detroit Public Schools. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DRL-0628151.
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