Virginia Land Snails

Photo(s): Gastrocopta contracta shell by Jeff Nekola ©.

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Gastrocopta contracta (Say, 1822)

Family: Vertiginidae

Height: ~2.3 mm
Width: ~1.2 mm
Whorls: 5

This species is easily distinguished from all other eastern Gastrocopta species by its strongly conical shell and folded, sheet-like parietal lamella in the center of the aperture (Nekola & Coles, 2010).

It occurs in leaf litter and under logs in a wide range of habitats, ranging from mesic to wet, and forested to open. Although occurring in higher numbers in base-rich sites, it is also frequently present in base-poor locations (Nekola & Coles, 2010).

Synonyms for this animal’s name include Pupa contracta, Gastrocopta contracta climeana.

Gastrocopta contracta is one of the most wide-spread eastern North American pupillids (pupa-shaped shells), ranging from southeastern New Mexico and southern Manitoba east to northern Maine and the Florida Keys. It also extends south to Cuba, Jamaica and Veracruz in Mexico (Pilsbry, 1948).

In Virginia this species has been reported from many parts of the state. Its apparent absence from the Piedmont is almost certainly due to under-reporting rather than absence from this region.

NatureServe Global Rank: G5
NatureServe State Rank: S4


Jeff Nekola 9/2012

Range Map