Virginia Land Snails

Photo(s): Rumina decollata with its typical truncated shell, by Bill Frank ©.

Click photo(s) to enlarge.

Rumina decollata (Linnaeus, 1758) (non-native)

Family: Subulinidae
Common name: Decollate Snail

Height: 22.5-30.0 mm
Width: 10-11 mm
Whorls: 4.0-5.5

The shell of Rumina decollata is a tall, tapering cylinder with a truncated apex (Pilsbry, 1946; Kerney & Cameron, 1979). The lip is simple and thin. The whorls are sculptured with irregular growth wrinkles and occasional fine spiral striae. Shells are light-colored – tan, white, or light brown, and a bit glossy. The animal is a pale yellow.

The shell’s apex does break off in stages, but the animal inside remains protected by a shell-like plate at the break. Juvenile shells are narrow, taller and tapering, with a blunt apex.

In Mediterranean areas, it is found in dry, open habitats upon calcium-rich soils (Kerney & Cameron, 1979). Its eggs are 2.5 mm in diameter, relatively large. This snail is ominivorous, and is sometimes sold as a control agent for garden pest slugs and snails. Some states have banned this trade.

Synonyms for R. decollata include Helix decollata, Stenogyra decollata, Bulimus decollata, and B. multilatus.

Rumina decollata is introduced in North America from the Mediterranean. It has been introduced to the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific Coasts. In Virginia, specimens are reported only from Norfolk.

NatureServe Global Rank: G5
NatureServe State Rank: Not listed


Ken Hotopp 2/2013

Range Map