Virginia Land Snails

Photo(s): Two shells of Cecilioides acicula (scale bar is in millimeters), by Francisco Welter Schultes on Wikipedia.

Click photo(s) to enlarge.

Cecilioides acicula (Müller, 1774) (non-native)

Family: Ferussaciidae
Common name: Blind Awlsnail

Width: 1.2 mm
Height: 4.5-5.5 mm
Whorls: 5+

Cecilioides acicula has an extremely long, narrow shell ending in a blunt apex. During the animal’s life the thin shell is glossy, transparent, and colorless; after death the shell becomes opaque and white. The columella comes to an abrupt end when it reaches the edge of the basal lip (Pilsbry 1948, Kerney and Cameron 1979).

In the United States, C. acicula has only been reported as dead shells among drift debris along small creeks (Pilsbry 1948, NatureServe, 2012). In Europe it is known as a subterranean species that lives underneath root masses or deep in rock crevices, usually in calcium-rich environments (Kerney and Cameron 1979).

Cecilioides acicula has also been known as Buccinum aciculums, Caecilianella acicula, and Caecilioides acicula.

This snail is a native of Europe and has been introduced to parts of the Atlantic coast of the United States. It has only recently been discovered in Virginia (Örstan 2007), where it was found next to a creek in Shenandoah County.

NatureServe Global Rank: G5
NatureServe State Rank: SNA


Meegan Winslow 11/2012

Range Map