Virginia Land Snails

Photo(s): Drawings of brackish marsh-dweller Succinea wilsonii shells and reproductive anatomy by Grimm (1975).

Click photo(s) to enlarge.

Succinea wilsonii I. Lea, 1864

Family: Succineidae
Common name: Golden Ambersnail

Height: 9.7-14.0 mm
Width: 5.9-8.0 mm
Whorls: 3-4

The shell of Succinea wilsonii is transparent and glossy, with fine growth lines and sometimes light spiral striations (Grimm, 1975). It has rapidly expanding whorls, a wide aperture, and moderately impressed sutures. The shape of the apex varies somewhat, from elongate to more attenuated. Shell color is greenish yellow, yellow, or orange-yellow. The body is gray speckled with black, and has dark tentacle and a lighter-colored foot.

This snail is found in brackish marshes, rarely freshwater, at the foot of plants or on bare soil (Grimm, 1975). It occurs in colonies that vary by shell form, which may be due to founder effect or ecotypes (Grimm, 1975).  However, genitalia are diagnostic.

Synonyms for S. wilsonii include Succinea bayardi, S. crisfeldi, S. pronophobus, S. pyrites, and S. wilsoni.

Succinea wilsonii may be found in the Canadian Maritime provinces and the states of the Middle Atlantic, from New York to Georgia. In Virginia it is reported from tidewater counties.

NatureServe Global Rank: G4
NatureServe State Rank: S4


Meegan Winslow, Ken Hotopp 11/2012

Range Map