Clausilids are small-size land snails that are alos known as door snails. The tests of most species are only several millimeters hight. Very few specimens exceed a length of 2 cm. Clausilids prefer humid places, for example wet logs, rocks or garden walls. This is why it is most likely to observe these gastropods very early in the morning or after rain. Their small, tower-like shell enables clausilids to hide in the finest cracks in rock, in the bark or in the foliage during periods of dry weather. Clausilids feed upon grazing algae.


Like almost all land snails door snails are hermaphrodites. Even for laymen clausilids are easy to distinguish from other gastropods since most of the species show left-winded shells. The name originates from a spoon-shaped calcareous plate, the clausilium, that is located at the aperture of the animal. This plate closes the shell, but the gastropod is able to push the cap on the inside of the shell by an elastic appendix to stretch its body out of the aperture.

Albinaria maltzani GSUB g9139

The clausilids of the Geosciences Collection were collected mainly by two people, Bernhard Schmacker and Dr. Gerhard von dem Busch. Their material was mainly accumulated between the mid and the end of the last but one century.


Clausilids of the collections of von dem Busch and Schmacker

There are 2000 entries of clausilids in the data base, this is all of the existing material. This number stands for several thousand specimens, since there is much more than one specimen hidden behind a single data entry.
Door shells mainly occur in the Balkan, in Greece, Turkey and Caucasia. This is partly reflected in the chart comprising a small part of the collection. However, this selection is random and cannot include the depth of localities and diversity of species. The clausilid material of the Geosciences Collection, in particular that collected by Dr. Gerhard von dem Busch, does not come from the main area of distribution, but from all over the world. This international aspect is one point in making up the eminent value and matchlessness of the collection. The countries of origin include for example Afghanistan, Australia, Burma, China, the Himalaya, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Cuba, New Zealand, Taiwan, Tanzania, Vietnam and the United States.

Clausilids are supposed to be typical of south eastern Europe, however, most of the material in the collection comes from Asia. This can be explained by the intensive collecting activities of Schmacker, who lived in eastern Asia as a tradesman for decades and who collected gastropods in his leisure time.

Herilla bosmiensis GSUB g9136

The following chart presents some data of snails of the family Clausiliidae that are represented in the Geosciences Collection.

Species Country Locality/region Collector
Albinaria caerulea China San-tu, Kiangsi Schmacker
Albinaria doertleri Cypress Kophinou, Troodos Oberwimmer
Albinaria thiesseana Greece Pátrai (Patras), Peloppones Schmacker
Alpoia straminicollis Romania Bucsecs Schmacker
Alopia bogatensis Romania Krizpa Schmacker
Balea glauca Iran Chukak von dem Busch
Clausilia loczyi Vietnam Tong King Schmacker
Clausilia phalerata Poland Alpe Stoczek Jantzen
Delima (Montenegrina) cattaroensis Yugoslavia Cattaro (Kotor), Montenegro Oberwimmer
Delima ornata Italy Lake Comer, Lombardia von dem Busch
Euphaedusa faberi Japan Omi-shima, close to Yamaguchi Schmacker
Euphaedusa nigricans Germany Thuringia von dem Busch
Euxina pumiliformis Russia Mount Chugush, Caucasia Schmacker
Gracilaria filograna Italy Triest Schmacker
Idyla (I.) bicristata Greece Olymp von dem Busch
Idyla kephissiae Greece Attica von dem Busch
Iphygena bidentata Turkey Marmara islands Schröder
Iphigena concilians Hungary Szabolcs von dem Busch
Iphigena lineolata Germany Bavaria von dem Busch
Iphigena lineolata Italy Mte Zebio, Venetien Oberwimmer
Iphigena plicatula Germany Bielefeld, Northrhine-Westphalia Schröder
Lacinaria (Strigilecula) cana Germany Bavaria von dem Busch
Medora kutschigii Croatia Brezcia, Dalmatien von dem Busch
Papillifera solida Lebanon Beirut Schmacker
Phaedusa acoidula Russia Caucasia von dem Busch
Phaedusa corpulenta Croatia Brezcia, Dalmatien von dem Busch
Phaedusa corticina Croatia Dalmatia von dem Busch
Phaedusa elata Romania/
Bukowina von dem Busch
Phaedusa gastrolepta Croatia Dalmatia von dem Busch
Phaedusa pachygastris Italy Torre de Meloria von dem Busch
Phaedusa saxatiles Germany Lake Zwischenahn, Lower Saxony von dem Busch
Phaedusa senilis Greece Korfu von dem Busch
Phaedusa succinata Romania Carpathians von dem Busch
Phaedusa viridana Syria Muhajjah von dem Busch
Pirostoma densestriata Austria Alps von dem Busch
Prosopeas (P.) erectus China Hongkong Schmacker
Selenoptyx inversiluna Japan Nago, Okinawa Loosjes
Tropidauchenia orientalis Indonesia Java von dem Busch


  • Borcherding, F. (1901): Diagnosen neuer Achatinellen-Formen von der Sandwichinsel Molokai. – Nachrichtsblatt der Deutschen Malakologischen Gesellschaft 1901: 52-58.
  • – (1910): Monographie der auf den Sandwichinsel Kauai lebenden Molluskengattung Carelia. – Abhandlungen der Senckenbergischen Gesellschaft 32: 225-251.
  • Kuster-Wendenburg, E. (1999): Der Bremer Stein und die Dinosaurier. Die Geschichte einer Sammlung. – 95; Aschenbeck & Holstein, Bremen.