Virginia Land Snails

Photo(s): Views of a Guppya sterkii shell, by Larry Watrous ©. Note the simple lip and closed umbilicus.

Click photo(s) to enlarge.

Guppya sterkii (Dall, 1888)

Family: Euconulidae
Common name: Sterki’s Granule

Width: ≈1.2 mm
Height: ≈0.75 mm
Whorls: 3+

The shell of Guppya sterkii is a tiny, depressed beehive-shape, with very rounded whorls and well-impressed sutures. It is distinguished by its plain characters but subtly unique shape. The lip of the wide aperture is thin and the umbilicus is closed. Very fine microsculpture covers the shell, which is fragile, yellowish, and translucent. Because G. sterkii is so small, it can be confused with immature shells of other species, but can be separated by its closed umbilicus and tighter whorl pattern.

This minute species lives in leaf litter of native forest, often in rocky areas (Nekola, 2009). It never occurs in large numbers. In Tennessee it was significantly associated with older forests, rich, damp soils on limestone bedrock, and very steep slopes (Coney et al., 1982).

Synonyms for G. sterkii include Conulus sterkii, Euconulus sterkii, Hyalina sterkii, and Zonites sterkii.

Guppya sterkii is a widespread Eastern species that reaches its northern limit in New York, and is found south to Florida and west to Oklahoma and Iowa. In Virginia it is known from the mountainous western part of the state.

NatureServe Global Rank: G5
NatureServe State Rank: S4


Ken Hotopp, Meegan Winslow 11/2012

Range Map