Virginia Land Snails



Photo(s): Views of a Mesomphix perlaevis shell by Dan Dourson ©.

Click photo(s) to enlarge.

Mesomphix perlaevis (Pilsbry, 1900)

Family: Zonitidae
Common name: Smooth Button

Width: 17.6 – 20.7 mm
Height: 9.7 – 12.2 mm
Whorls: 4.5

Mesomphix perlaevis has a shell with a low apex, a large outer whorl, and a small umbilicus. The aperture is thin with a white callus lining inside. The somewhat glossy shell has a brown to olive color that fades toward the base. Some specimens may look almost green. The shell has irregular radial ridges, which are “cut” across the top by spiral striae, a useful characteristic for distinguishing it from similar-sized relatives. It may have tiny papillae upon its final whorl, but not extensively as on M. inornatus.

This species can usually be found under leaf litter on wooded hillsides.  In Tennessee it is found in limestone areas and oak-pine forests at high elevation (Coney et al, 1982).

Synonyms for M. perlaevis are Mesomphix laevigata perlaevis and Omphalina laevigata perlaevis.

Mesomphix perlaevis occurs from northern Alabama, north to Ohio and southwestern Pennsylvania. In Virginia, it is reported from the western border and in the middle south and north of the state.

NatureServe Global Rank: G4G5
NatureServe State Rank: S3


Ken Hotopp, Greg Kimber, Meegan Winslow 11/2012

Range Map