Virginia Land Snails

Photo(s): Image from Wikipedia by Zachi Evenor ©.

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Helix aspersa Müller, 1774 (non-native)

Family: Helicidae
Common name: Brown Gardensnail

Width: 25-35 mm
Height: 25-40 mm
Whorls: 4.5+

The shell of Helix aspersa is globe-shaped with a reflected lip and a closed umbilicus. The shell is light brown or yellowish with a variable number of dark brown spiral bands that are often interrupted with lighter radial streaks or spots. The lip is whitish. The animal is a medium-brown or gray.

Helix aspersa is a European and Mediterranean native found in almost any habitat, from parks and gardens to woodlands, scrub, grasslands, or dunes (Kerney & Cameron, 1979). Although it is edible, it is also a pest of trees and crops. In North America it lives on rich soils in gardens and farmland (Pilsbry, 1939).

Synonyms for Helix aspersa include Cornu aspersum, and Pomatia aspersa. In recent years, some workers have classified it in the genera Cantareus or Cryptomphalus.

This animal is found on every continent except Antarctica. In North America, Pilsbry (1939) reported it only from locations in California, Louisiana and South Carolina, but NatureServe (2013) now reports H. aspersa from 16 states and two provinces. In Virginia specimens are reported from both ends of the state - Accomack, Chesapeake, and Wise Counties.

NatureServe Global Rank:G5
NatureServe State Rank:SNA


Ken Hotopp 2/2013

Range Map