Virginia Land Snails

Photo(s): Shell of Punctum minutissimum, by Larry Watrous ©.

Click photo(s) to enlarge.

Punctum minutissimum (I. Lea, 1841)

Family: Punctidae
Common name: Small Spot

Width: ≈1.0-1.5 mm
Height: ≈0.75 mm
Whorls: 4+

The fragile shell of Punctum minutissimum is a depressed heliciform shape. Its rounded whorls are covered with a pattern of fine, regular ribs. The shell is a golden-to-reddish-brown color, thin lipped, with a deep umbilicus. Its close relative P. blandianum has a lower spire and wider umbilicus.

Punctum minutissimum is one of the most common and widespread snails living in forest leaf litter. Its numbers are often closely correlated with the richness of its habitat. In central Tennessee it was abundant and significantly associated with soils having a high moisture content, neutral pH, and leaf litter (Coney et al., 1982). It was also abundant and favored rich habitats in northern Maine (Nekola, 2008), New York (Beier et al., 2012), and Maryland (Hotopp, 2002).

Synonyms for P. minutissimum are P. pygmaeum, and Helix minutissima.

This animal can be found throughout the East (except for southern Florida), and west into the Great Plains. In Virginia reports are scattered across the state.

NatureServe Global Rank: G5
NatureServe State Rank: S4


Ken Hotopp 1/2013

Range Map