Virginia Land Snails



Photo(s): A Striatura ferrea shell, larger than its relatives and finely-textured, by Jeff Nekola ©.

Click photo(s) to enlarge.

Striatura ferrea E.S. Morse, 1864

Family: Gastrodontidae
Common name: Black Striate

Width: 2.5-3 mm
Height: 1.4 mm
Whorls: 3+

Striatura ferrea has a beautiful, finely-textured shell, appearing almost silky, and it is larger than the other striates. The shell has low radial ridges and delicate spiral striae. The live animal is very dark in color, while the shell is usually silvery or steel gray. The open umbilicus is much narrower than that of its relatives, measuring less than half a millimeter in diameter. The aperture is large and rounded, with a simple lip.

Like its relatives, S. ferrea lives in leaf litter in hardwood forests, though usually at low-to-moderate densities and never abundant (e.g. Hotopp, 2002; Beier et al, 2012). In Maine it was found to be most frequent at dry, acid forest sites (Nekola, 2008).

This species has also been known as Striatura (Striaturops) ferrea and Zonites ferreus.

Striatura ferrea is found from the Smoky Mountains north through the Appalachian Mountains to Maine and west to Michigan. In Virginia, there are museum records for scattered western counties, but it also probably occurs in some northern counties (e.g. Hubricht, 1985).

NatureServe Global Rank: G5
NatureServe State Rank: S3


Ken Hotopp, Megan Winslow 11/2012


Range Map