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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Spiralia
Cladus: Lophotrochozoa
Phylum: Mollusca
Classis: Gastropoda
Subclassis: Heterobranchia
Infraclassis: Euthyneura
Cohors: Tectipleura
Subcohors: Panpulmonata
Superordo: Eupulmonata
Ordo: Stylommatophora
Subordo: Helicina
Infraordo: Limacoidei
Superfamilia: Zonitoidea

Familia: Zonitidae
Genera (9 + 5†): Aegopis – Allaegopis – Balcanodiscus – Doraegopis – Meledella – Paraegopis – Troglaegopis – Turcozonites – Zonites – †Anhuispira – †Bellornatus – †Macrozonites – †Miozonites – †Sphaerozonites

Zonitidae Mörch, 1864

Mörch, O.A.L. 1864. Synopsis Molluscorum terrestrium et fluviatilium Daniae:5.
Bouchet, P., & J.-P. Rocroi. 2005. Classification and nomenclator of gastropod families. Malacologia 47(1-2): 268.
Schileyko, A.A. 2003. Treatise on Recent terrestrial pulmonate molluscs. Part 10. Ruthenica (Suppl. 2):1414.


Zonitidae in the World Register of Marine Species

Vernacular names
English: true glass snailsZonitidae, common name the true glass snails, are a family of mostly rather small, air-breathing land snails, terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusks in the superfamily Zonitoidea.

Zonitidae is the only family in the superfamily Zonitoidea. The family's type genus is Zonites, established by Pierre Denys de Montfort in 1810. This family has no subfamilies (according to the taxonomy of the Gastropoda by Bouchet & Rocroi, 2005).


The distribution of the Zonitidae encompasses the western Palearctic.[3]
Shell description

The spiral, heliciform shells of these snails are flattened in shape with a very low spire. The shell is perforate or umbilicate. The lip of the aperture is simple, lacking thickened margin. These shells are more or less transparent as if made of glass, hence the popular name "glass snails". The shells are colorless or of an amber to brownish color.[4]

Some snails in genera within this family create and use love darts as part of their mating behavior.

In this family, the number of haploid chromosomes lies between 21 and 25 and also lies between 31 and 35, but other values are also possible (according to the values in this table).[5]

These snails live in damp places under stones and similar objects. The true glass snails are usually nocturnal.

Genera within the family Zonitidae include:

Aegopis Fitzinger, 1833
Aegopinella Lindholm, 1927
Allaegopis Riedel, 1979[6]
Balcanodiscus Riedel & Urbanski, 1964
Brazieria Ancey, 1887
Doraegopis Riedel, 1982
Eopolita Pollonera, 1916
Glyphyalinia Martens, 1892 [7]
Gollumia Riedel, 1988
Meledella Sturany, 1908
Mesomphix Rafinesque, 1819[8]
Ogaridiscus Dall, 1877[9]
Paraegopis Hesse, 1910
Paravitrea Pilsbry, 1898[10]
Retinella Fischer, 1877
Thasiogenes Riedel, 1998
Troglaegopis Riedel & Radja, 1983
Turcozonites Riedel, 1987
Ventridens Binney & Bland, 1869
Zonites Montfort, 1810 – type genus


The following cladogram shows the phylogenic relationships of this family to other families in the limacoid clade:[3]

 limacoid clade 



























"Family summary for Zonitidae". AnimalBase, last change 19-09-2006, accessed 4 August 2010.
Mörch, 1864. Fortegnelse over de i Danmark forekommende Land- of Ferskvandbløddyr. Videnskabelige Meddelelser fra den Naturhistorisk Forening i Kjöbenhavn, 17–22 (from 1863): 265–367. zonitidae on the page 274.
Hausdorf B. (2000). "Biogeography of the Limacoidea sensu lato (Gastropoda: Stylommatophora): Vicariance Events and Long-Distance Dispersal". Journal of Biogeography 27(2): 379–390. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2699.2000.00403.x, JSTOR.
George Washington Tryon 1886. Manual of Conchology, volume 2, Zonitidae.
Barker G. M.: Gastropods on Land: Phylogeny, Diversity and Adaptive Morphology. in Barker G. M. (ed.): The biology of terrestrial molluscs. CABI Publishing, Oxon, UK, 2001, ISBN 0-85199-318-4. 1–146, cited pages: 139 and 142.
"WoRMS - World Register of Marine Species - Allaegopis A. Riedel, 1979". www.marinespecies.org. Retrieved 29 October 2021.
Barrientos, Zaidett (2003). "Lista de especies de moluscos terrestres (Archaeogastropoda, Mesogastropoda, Archaeopulmonata, Stylommatophora, Soleolifera) informadas para Costa Rica". Revista Biología Tropical. 51: 293–304.
"Standard Report". ITIS. Interagency Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
Turgeon, D.D., J.F. Quinn, Jr., A.E. Bogan, E.V. Coan, F.G. Hochberg, W.G. Lyons, P.M. Mikkelsen, R.J. Neves, C.F.E. Roper, G. Rosenberg, B. Roth, A. Scheltema, F.G. Thompson, M. Vecchione, and J.D. Williams. 1998. Common and scientific names of aquatic invertebrates from the United States and Canada: Mollusks. 2nd Edition. American Fisheries Society Special Publication 26, Bethesda, Maryland: 526 pp.

"Standard Report". ITIS. nteragency Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 30 March 2016.

Further reading

Riedel A. The Zonitidae of Greece. Fauna Graeciae V. 194 pp.
Schileyko A. A. (2003). "Treatise on recent terrestrial pulmonate mollusks. 10. Ariophantidae, Ostracolethaidae, Ryssotidae, Milacidae, Dyakiidae, Staffordiidae, Gastrodontidae, Zonitidae, Daudebardiidae, Parmacellidae". Ruthenica, Supplement 2. 1309–1466.

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