Virginia Land Snails

Photo(s): Pallifera fosteri by Dan Dourson ©.

Click photo(s) to enlarge.

Pallifera fosteri F.C. Baker, 1939

Family: Philomycidae
Common name: Foster Mantleslug

Length: 15-25 mm

Pallifera fosteri is an average sized Pallifera, which like other philomycids has a mantle that covers the entire dorsal surface of the animal. The mantle background color is creamy-tan, often slightly darker brownish on the dorsal surface. This pattern is overlain with larger black spots. The black spots sometimes coalesce forming a central and/or two lateral bands that run the length of the mantle. The reproductive system is not equipped with a dart sac. The center of the jaw usually has four or five large ribs, although this number can vary from 3 to 6 ribs, and the margins are smooth.

This species occurs in a wide variety of habitats from floodplain forests to upland hardwood forests where it is found in leaf litter and under logs, from the coastal plain up to about 1500 meters elevation in both old growth and secondary forests. This species wide habitat use and extreme morphological variation suggest it may be a species complex. In fact, the entire genus is in need of taxonomic revision. Therefore, our current understanding of species ranges and habitat requirements may be too general for accurate conservation rank assessments.

Pallifera fosteri is widely distributed from Michigan to Florida and west to Missouri. In Virginia, the species is widespread, occurring from the Coastal Plain the Ridge and Valley.

NatureServe Global Rank: G5
NatureServe State Rank: S4


John Slapcinsky 10/2012

Range Map