The Yorkshire Conchological Society

(Founded 1896)

Affiliated to the Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union & The Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland



The modern study of Conchology or the study of snails and slugs was started in 1876 by the formation of the Leeds Shell Club by its four founder members John William Taylor, W.Denison Roebuck, Henry Crowther and William Nelson; all of Leeds.


This society evolved over the years into the Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland and the Yorkshire Conchological Society. This last organisation has been affiliated to the Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union for most of this period and forms its molluscan section.


The Yorkshire Conchological Society is mainly concerned with the recording and monitoring of the molluscan fauna of the county of Yorkshire, carrying on a tradition first established by Dr Martin Lister, surgeon to Queen Anne, who published in 1678 the first Yorkshire list.


This distinguished role was taken up by W.Denison Roebuck who established a recording system for the whole of the British Isles in 1896.


The counties rich and diverse fauna includes a number of rare and local species, some of which are almost unknown outside the county. These include Clausilia (Clausilia) dubia Drap., 1805, Vitrea (Subrimatus) subrimata (Reinhardt, 1871), Vertigo (Vertigo) geyeri Lindholm, 1925, Vertigo (Vertigo) genesii (Gredler, 1856) and Truncatellina cylindrica (Fer., 1807). The county also boasts a small colony of the pearl mussel Margaritifera margeritifera (L., 1758), one of several species protected by international law. 


A number of new species have also been added to the county fauna over the last 30 years these include the slugs, Arion (Mesarion) flagellus Collinge, 1893, Lehmannia valentiana (Ferussac, 1823), Limax (Limacus) maculatus (Kaleniczenco, 1851), Boettgerilla pallens (Simroth, 1912) and the small snails Vertigo (Vertigo) geyeri Lindholm, 1925 and Vertigo (Vertigo) genesii (Gredler, 1856).


The marine mollusca of the county are recorded from two sea area’s, Sea Area 11 and Sea Area 12. The dividing line being 52 degrees north which runs through Bridlington Bay. To the north of this line we have a varied shoreline with sandy bays and rocky headlands. To the south we have sands bordered by boulder clay cliffs. This coastline has produced a number of outstanding records from the Giant Squid, Architeuthis to the minute Microhedyle lactea (Hertling, 1930) and Philinoglossa helgolandica (Hertling, 1932). These two species were found offshore by Claude Poizat in August 1975, between Robin Hoods Bay & Whitby in medium to coarse sand and mud. 


If you are interested in learning more about the subject or would like to help us record the rich and diverse molluscan fauna of the county please contact us.


Molluscs Section Menu

Some Yorkshire Slugs

Photographs of some Yorkshire slugs


The Yorkshire Conchological Society: membership and contacts.


News from the Conchological Section

Links and Downloads

Species checklists and useful websites


Conchological Section Events

The Yorkshire Conchological Society

History of the Yorkshire Conchological Society


Notes on mollusc distribution in Yorkshire