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Banbury Springs Limpet
Banbury Springs Limpet

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Banbury Springs Limpet

Scientific Name:
Lanx spp.

Other Names and/or Listed subspecies:
Banbury Springs Lanx

Group: Snails

Status/Date Listed as Endangered:
EN-US FWS: December 14, 1992

Area(s) Where Listed As Endangered:

The Banbury Springs limpet is a small, aquatic snail found in the Snake River of Idaho. Snails are mollusks that have coiled or spiral shells covering their soft bodies, and the shells get bigger toward the opening as they grow. Some aquatic snails may come to the water surface to get oxygen, which they can hold within the shell, and some have gills to extract oxygen from the water. No freshwater snail can live long term out of the water. The Banbury Springs limpet is known for its distinguishable cinnamon-red, conical and pyramid-like shell. It is a pulmonate snail, meaning it possesses a special lung or mantle instead of gills allowing it to breathe air.

This snail requires freshwater habitat, and the water must be cold, well-oxygenated, and absent of pollutants. It prefers to dwell at the bottom of the river floor where the water is still swiftly flowing and where there are no algae or plants covering it. This species is more than likely herbivorous, feeding on algae and small pieces of dead or decaying plants. They are known to graze along mud surfaces, rocky surfaces and macrophytes for their food. All snails hibernate in the winter and they are "hermaphrodites," possessing both male and female reproductive organs. A small slit appears on the neck where the fertilization occurs and the eggs develop. After hatching from the eggs, the larvae swim freely in the water and soon begin to grow a shell, which eventually weighs them down, making them pedestrian.

This species is only found in three free-flowing springs in the Snake River. Presently, the springs are protected from disturbances, but threats still remain, including habitat modification and deteriorating water quality due to human development, water withdrawal, and pollution. A recovery plan was drawn up in 1995 with plans to improve water quality in the Snake River, protection of remaining habitat, and prevention of future disturbances.

Banbury Springs Limpet Facts Last Updated: November 18, 2007

To Cite This Page:
Glenn, C. R. 2006. "Earth's Endangered Creatures - Banbury Springs Limpet Facts" (Online).
Accessed 5/31/2016 at


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