European Mollusks

Systematic - Description - Distribution - Determination Key - Images - Literature


Welcome to the most comprehensive database with determination key for European mollusks.

The database is still under development and can be used for the determination of marine bivalves, marine gastropods, freshwater bivalves and freshwater gastropods at the moment.

For terrestric gastropods it is expected to be available by Dec 2023. Other classes should follow in 2024 and 2025.

Select language before entering the database.
Wählen Sie die Sprache, bevor Sie zur Datenbank gehen.


The aim of this project and this database is to provide comprehensive information about the molluscs living in Europe and a tool for their identification for free use.

Particular attention is paid to the completeness of the species, the quality of the information and images provided, extensive literature references and links to further information, as well as a self-explanatory identification process supported by illustrations and an extensive glossary. More details about the objectives can be found on the page About this database.

Some data about the current content and extent of the database can be found on this page in the section Statistics.

When you enter the database, you will first find the species of the selected class listed as a taxon tree. You can get detailed information about a species by clicking on its name. Alternatively, you can also display an image gallery. From there you can click on the respective picture to get detailed information about the species. In addition to one or more images, this usually contains an exact description, information on the distribution, if applicable information on subspecies or forms, and a reference list, containing all literature that was considered to establish this database, furthermore specific literature being recommended as further reading or containing further images is marked as such and links are provided, leading directly there.

If you are looking for information on a specific species, you can go there directly via the taxon search. Just enter genus and species names, or caracteristic parts thereof. If you are not sure whether the name corresponds to the current taxonomic status, you can also include synonyms in the search. The database contains the most important synonyms used in recent literature.

Target group

This site is aimed at people interested in nature across the entire spectrum of 'scientific', i.e. at specialized scientists as well as at scientifically interested amateurs. Whether you are studying a specific group of mollusks, taking care of a collection in a museum, studying material from an excursion or just having made an interesting find, it can be a valuable support. In particular, laypersons who help with their observations to extend knowledge of the distribution of species are also invited to use this tool for better validity of the data collected in this way.

Identifying mollusks

Even if this site tries to make the identification as clear and easy as possible, this cannot eliminate the fact that the identification of mollusks is no easy tast at all. With certain groups, this may be even so difficult that even high-ranking scientists do not always get the correct result.

Not only beginners are therefore well advised, to read the recommendations in the application notes.

If you still have a problem, consult also the frequently aksed questions.

When you enter the database you first get to the selection plate for the classes. How to distinguish the individual classes is explained in more detail there. The links below will take you directly to the identification key for the individual classes.

Identifying gastropods

To the Identification key for marine gastropods

To the Identification key for freshwater gastropods

The identification key for terrestrial gastropods is expected to be availaable by Dec 2023.

Identifying bivalves

To the Identification key for marine bivalves

To the Identification key for freshwater bivalves

Covered area

The covered area is already shown schematically in the image above.

More details can be found on the "About this database" page in the section Covered area.


The systematic arrangement in this database is largely based on that of Molluscabase.

An explanation of any deviations from this can be found on the "About this database" page in the section Orientation.


Many thanks go to the numerous colleagues and institutions without whose support this website would not have been possible in this quality.

All names are listed on the page Acknowledgments.