Welcome to the fascinating world of terrestrial gastropod mollusks, also known as land snails and slugs. Malacology —
the study of mollusks — has been an integral part of Carnegie Museum of Natural History since its founding in 1895. Snails are unique animals with rasping mouthparts, intercrossing dorsal and ventral muscles,
and a mantle, the organ that builds a hard shell (though inactive in slugs).


Pennsylvania Land Snails

Pennsylvania land snails, which include more than 100 species of both shelled animals and slugs, are found almost everywhere but are little known.


Virginia Land Snails

Land snails, which include both shelled snails and shell-less slugs, abound in The Commonwealth of Virginia, where there are 220 species.

Land Snail Ecology

Land snails are small, widespread animals that live among leaf litter, plants, and wood, which they help break down to make soil. They have a variety of parasites and predators; move energy, protein, and calcium up the "food chain"; and have a great variety of life patterns and behaviors.


Technical information such as anatomy, terminology, references, and links to more snail sites is found here.








Hotopp, K.P., T.A. Pearce, J.C. Nekola, J. Slapcinsky, D.C. Dourson, M. Winslow, G. Kimber, and B. Watson. 2013. Land Snails and Slugs of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States. Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Online Resource: http://www.carnegiemnh.org/science/mollusks/index.html