Virginia Land Snails

Photo(s): Gastrocopta corticaria by Jeff Nekola ©.

Click photo(s) to enlarge.

Gastrocopta corticaria (Say, 1816)

Family: Vertiginidae

Height: ~2.5 mm
Width: ~1.0 mm
Whorls: 5

This species is easily identified as the only pupa-shaped snail in the state with a white-clear shell having no palatal lamella and a two-lobed angulo-parietal lamella. There is a small columellar lamella as well.

Large populations of Gastrocopta corticaria are often found on soil-covered ledges of wooded, calcareous bedrock outcrops (Nekola & Coles, 2010), showing that previous statements that it is rarely abundant (e.g. Pilsbry, 1948; Hubricht, 1985) were incorrect. It may also be frequent in deep leaf litter accumulations under Eastern Redcedar, and is occasional in wooded wetlands. Pilsbry (1948) noted that this species also may be found crawling on trees almost a meter above the ground, as its specific epithet “corticaria” (meaning bark) suggests.

Synonyms for this animal’s name include Odostomia corticaria, Pupa corticaria.

Gastrocopta corticaria ranges across most of eastern North America, from central Oklahoma and Minnesota east to northern Florida, southern Ontario, and southern Maine. In Virginia this species has been primarily observed in the Blue Ridge. However, given its presence in the outer coastal plain of North Carolina (Nekola & Coles, 2010), it should eventually be found across the entire state.

NatureServe Global Rank: G5
NatureServe State Rank: S3S4


Jeff Nekola 9/2012

Range Map