Virginia Land Snails

Photo(s): Shell of Gastrocopta holzingeri by Jeff Nekola ©.

Click photo(s) to enlarge.

Gastrocopta holzingeri (Sterki, 1889)

Family: Vertiginidae

Height: ~1.6 mm
Width: ~0.7 mm
Whorls: 5

Gastrocopta holzingeri is most easily distinguished from other Virginia pupillids by its small size, columnar shape, white-clear shell, and presence of a distinct channel down the middle of the angulo-parietal lamella.

Across its range, this animal can be found in several habitats, including accumulations of grass thatch on dry grassland, soil covered ledges on bedrock outcrops, leaf litter accumulations under red cedar, and under rocks on forested talus slopes.  In Virginia, populations are limited to the vicinity of calcareous bedrock outcrops where it is especially fond of soil accumulations on small ledges, especially in areas where leaf litter from the Northern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis) collects.   

Synonyms for this animal’s name include Pupa holzingeri.

Gastrocopta holzingeri is mainly a plains animal, ranging from central Texas and northeastern New Mexico, north to central Alberta and southern Manitoba, and east to Illinois and the western shore of Lake Michigan. East of this principle range it occurs in three isolated patches – in southern Ontario, in the central Ohio River valley, and in the Ridge-and-Valley District of Virginia and West Virginia (Nekola & Coles, 2010; Dourson, 2010).

In Virginia it is restricted to calcareous districts in the western mountains.

NatureServe Global Rank: G5
NatureServe State Rank: S3


Jeff Nekola 9/2012

Range Map