Virginia Land Snails


Photo(s): Anguispira mordax by Bill Frank ©. Views of its shell by Jochen Gerber ©.

Click photo(s) to enlarge.

Anguispira mordax (Shuttleworth, 1852)

Family: Discidae
Common name: Appalachian Tigersnail or Appalachian Disc

Width: 16 – 18 mm
Height: 6 mm
Whorls: 5.5

The shell of this species is somewhat flat but still has a notable a curve in the apex.  The carina is well defined but not particularly sharp.  The lip on the A. mordax is thin.  The shell is yellow with interrupted red streaks that run in bands parallel to the radial ribs.  These ribs are big and wide, sometimes up to 1 mm apart, giving the shell texture a wavy look.           

Anguispira mordax is found in a wide range of habitats similar to A. alternata (Hubricht, 1985).  Kutchka (1940) reports this animal on basswood and tuliptree logs.

There’s some uncertainty about the taxonomy of this animal (Pilsbry, 1946-8).  Hubricht (1985) says A. mordax is only pure in North Carolina, and elsewhere hybridizes with other species in the same genus.

Synonyms for A. mordax are: Anguispira alternata mordax, A. a. lawae, A. a. paucicostata, A. a. smithi, A. cumberlandiana Columba, A. smithi, A Columba, A. paucicostata, A. mordax paucicostata, Helix mordax, and Pyramidula alternata mordax.  It hybridizes with A. alternata and A. strongylodes

This species has been found in Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.  It is found in north-western Virginia and along the border with West Virginia. 

NatureServe Global Rank: G4
NatureServe State Rank: S3S4


Greg Kimber, Ken Hotopp 7/2012

Range Map