Virginia Land Snails



Photo(s): Views of a Stenotrema pilula shell by Dan Dourson ©.

Click photo(s) to enlarge.

Stenotrema pilula (Pilsbry, 1900)

Family: Polygyridae
Common name: Pygmy Slitmouth

Width: 5.5-6.5mm wide
Height: 4-5mm tall
Whorls: 5+ whorls

This species has a shell typical of the rounded and hairy slitmouth snails, except that it is quite small. The long parietal tooth is sinuous, and may be slightly hooked as it bends into the interdenticular sinus. The basal lip has a median notch with teeth on both sides and a blunt outer, palatal, tooth. Scale-like sculpture covers the last whorl of the shell, especially at the base.

Preferring dry wooded slopes, Stenotrema pilula can be found under logs and in leaf litter (Hubricht, 1985).

Stenotrema pilula has also been known as Polygyra hirsuta pilula and P. pilula.

It is unlikely that S. pilula lives in Virginia. It inhabits the southern Appalachian Mountains in Tennessee, North Carolina, Alabama, and Georgia. It is reported for Virginia in NatureServe Explorer (2013), but not reported for the state by Pilsbry (1940) or Hubricht (1985). We did not encounter museum records for this animal, and there are no Virginia Dept. of Game & Inland Fisheries records (S. Roble, pers. comm., 2013).

NatureServe Global Rank: G3G4
NatureServe State Rank: S1
Virginia’s wildlife action plan: Tier III


Meegan Winslow, Ken Hotopp 9/2012