Highlands & Islands

Rare tiny snail found at second site on Black Isle

Snail and coin
Image caption In Britain, the tiny snail has only been recorded in the Highlands

A rare snail the size of a grain of rice has been found at protected woodland on the Black Isle in the Highlands.

Pupilla pratensis has only been recorded in one other site in Britain, also on the Black Isle, and is usually found in Scandinavia and Poland.

It measures 4mm long by about 1.5mm wide.

The discovery at Braelangwell Wood Site of Special Scientific Interest was made last summer by specialist Ian Killeen.

Scottish Natural Heritage, which has made public the find, regularly monitors habitats in the area.

Mr Killeen said: "I was very pleased with what I found.

"Not only was the habitat for the snails - calcium-rich wetland - in excellent condition, but there were also very high densities of the two main species for which the site is designated - Geyer's whorl snail and the round-mouthed whorl snail - at up to 384 per square metre in the central part of the site.

"Then we had the added bonus of this new record."

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