Virginia Land Snails


Photo(s): Allogona profunda (Say, 1821) by John Slapcinsky ©; Allogona profunda shell by Larry Watrous ©

Click photo(s) to enlarge.

Allogona profunda (Say, 1821)

Family: Polygyridae
Common name: Broad-banded Forestsnail

Width: 25-33 mm
Height: 15-17 mm
Whorls: 5+

This snail has a robust heliciform shell with a wide umbilicus, a reflected peristome, and a broad reddish stripe. The stripe may be absent from long-dead shells, but the big, flattened shell with a “bump” of a basal lip tooth is easily recognized. The animal's body is a medium to light gray.

Allogona profundais usually found in leaf litter in rich forests on floodplains or hilly terrain. Fieldwork in an oak-maple forest in Illinois found that overwintering A. profunda were completely inactive for nearly six months, not responding to brief periods of warm weather (Blinn, 1963). In the active season, snails moved to an area of a well-rotted log. In a second year of study, individuals returned to their previous overwintering site. Immature animals usually grew to maturity in their second active season, less often their third.

Synonyms for A. profunda include Helix profunda, H. richardii, Mesodon profunda, Polygyra profunda, P. p. alba and unicolor, P. p. efasciata, P. p. strontiana, and P. p. pleistocenica.

This species is found in the Midwestern states and in the interior of the Mid-Atlantic, though its distribution is patchy. Its range reaches north to New York (though it is introduced there) and Minnesota, and south to Tennessee and North Carolina. It is presumed extirpated in states further to the south - Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi (NatureServe, 2012). In Virginia it is found in mostly western counties.

NatureServe Global Rank: G5
NatureServe State Rank: S4


Ken Hotopp, Meegan Winslow 8/2012

Range Map