Virginia Land Snails

Photo(s): Carychium clappi by Dan Dourson ©.

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Carychium clappi Hubricht, 1959

Family: Ellobiidae
Common name: Appalachian Thorn

Width: 0.7-0.8 mm
Height: 1.7-2.0 mm
Whorls: 5+

The shell of Carychium clappi is whitish and elongate like its relatives, with close radial ridges. It is difficult or impossible to distinguish from its congener C. exile, raising the question of whether it is indeed a distinct species. According to Hubricht (1951) C. clappi may be distinguished by its larger size, whiter shell, and a less rounded, more angular top upon its ridges. The aperture is not heavily thickened within, as is usual in C. exile.

Like C. exile, this snail can be found on wooded slopes and talus, buried in deep piles of leaves and in pits made by the roots of fallen trees. Despite having similar habitats, C. clappi, C. nannodes, and C. exile are rarely found together (Hubricht, 1985).

Carychium clappi was originally described as Carychium costatum before being proposed as C. clappi (Hubricht, 1959).

Carychium clappi is found throughout the Appalachian Mountains, from Pennsylvania in the north to Alabama in the south. In Virginia it is reported from counties throughout the western part of the state.Because it is very similar to or possibly the same species asC. exile, its range may not be correctly delineated.

NatureServe Global Rank: G5
NatureServe State Rank: S4


Ken Hotopp, Meegan Winslow 11/2012

Range Map