Belgrandiella (Belgrandiella bachkovoensis)

Belgrandiella bachkovoensis shell
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Belgrandiella fact file

Belgrandiella description

GenusBelgrandiella (1)

A tiny, freshwater snail, Belgrandiella bachkovensis takes its scientific name from the village, Bachkovo, to which it is endemic. Its shell is tiny and cylindrical, consisting of four to five whorls, and the central umbilicus is closed (2) (3). Snails within the Hydrobiidae family rarely have any colouration in the shell, which is usually white (4). In Belgrandiella bachkovensis the shell is light horn-coloured and has a glossy surface. The mantle of this species is colourless (2).

Shell height: 1.9 - 2.0 mm (2) (3)
Shell width: 1.0 - 1.1 mm (2) (3)

Belgrandiella biology

Little is known about the biology of Belgrandiella bachkovensis. However, members of the Hydrobiidae family generally feed on organic debris and algal films on the surface of aquatic vegetation and rocks (5) (6).


Belgrandiella range

Belgrandiella bachkovensis is endemic to a single stream in Bachkovo village in the western Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria (1) (2).


Belgrandiella habitat

The stream habitat of the Belgrandiella bachkovensis is 200 metres long, 5 to 10 centimetres deep and 40 to 50 centimetres wide. The water passes through granite rocks beneath a large limestone area. The freshwater stream is surrounded by grass vegetation (1) (2).


Belgrandiella status

Belgrandiella bachkovoensis is classified as Critically Endangered (CR) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Critically Endangered


Belgrandiella threats

The highly restricted distribution of Belgrandiella bachkovensis is one of the main threats to this species. As only one population of Belgrandiella bachkovensis is known, it is extremely vulnerable. Pollution from upstream agriculture has previously caused damage to its habitat, and therefore poses a major threat to this species (1) (2).


Belgrandiella conservation

There are no known specific conservation measures currently in place for Belgrandiella bachkovensis. Pollution management could be enforced to help protect its population, and future monitoring of the habitat is needed to maintain its quality (1).


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Simple plants that lack roots, stems and leaves but contain the green pigment chlorophyll. Most occur in marine and freshwater habitats.
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
In molluscs, a fold of skin that encloses a space known as the mantle cavity, which contains the gills. The mantle is responsible for the secretion of the shell.
In gastropod molluscs, such as snails, a depression or hole on the underside of the shell, at the centre of the whorls (the spirals or coils of the shell). It is present in many but not all snail species.
In animals, a spiral or coil in the shell of a snail.


  1. IUCN Red List (November, 2011)
  2. Gloer, P. and Georgiev, D. (2009) New Rissooidea from Bulgaria (Gastropoda: Rissooidea). Mollusca, 27: 123-136.
  3. Georgiev, D.G. (2011) New species of Belgrandiella (Wagner 1927) (Mollusca: Gastropoda) from caves in northern Bulgaria. Acta Zoologica Bulgarica, 63: 7-10.
  4. Hershler, R. and Ponder, W.F. (1998) A Review of Morphological Characters of Hyrobioid Snails. Smithsonian Institute, Washington.
  5. Clark, S. (2004) Hydrobiidae. In: Perez, K.E., Claark, S.A. and Lydeard, C. (Eds.) Showing Your Shells: A Primer to Freshwater Gastropod Identification. Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society, Tuscloosa, Alabama.
  6. Barker, G.M. (2001) The Biology of Terrestrial Molluscs. CABI Publishing, Oxford, UK.

Image credit

Belgrandiella bachkovoensis shell  
Belgrandiella bachkovoensis shell

© Peter Gloeer

Peter Gloeer


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