Virginia Land Snails
Photo(s): Gastrocopta cristata shell by Jeff Nekola ©.
Click photo(s) to enlarge.
Gastrocopta cristata (Pilsbry and Vanatta, 1900)
Height: ~2.8 mm
Width: ~1.2 mm
Gastrocopta cristata is brownish and has a simple, peg-shaped angulo-parietal lamella at the top of the aperture, with only a faint hint of an angular lobe.
In the southern Plains this species is mostly restricted to sandy floodplains. Farther west, populations occur in thin leaf litter accumulations on more xeric sites (Pilsbry, 1948; Bequaert and Miller, 1973; Hubricht, 1985). Gastrocopta cristata can also be common in disturbed, anthropogenic habitats, such as yards under juniper plantings and in turf near irrigation sources (Nekola & Coles, 2010).
A synonym for this animal’s name is Bifidaria procera cristata.
Gastrocopta cristata is primarily a southwestern animal, occurring from Arkansas and Texas west through southern Kansas to the deserts of New Mexico and Arizona (Bequaert & Miller, 1973; Nekola & Coles, 2010). It appears to be introduced in the east, where it is generally limited to the Delmarva Peninsula (Hubricht, 1985). In Virginia this species has also been found in an abandoned limestone quarry west of the Blue Ridge, suggesting that populations have been migrating inland along either railroad right of ways or perhaps roadside verges
NatureServe Global Rank: G5
NatureServe State Rank: SNA
Jeff Nekola 9/2012Range Map