Virginia Land Snails

Photo(s): Vertigo oralis image by Jeff Nekola©.

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Vertigo oralis Sterki, 1898

Family: Vertiginidae

Height: ~2.0 mm
Width: ~1.2 mm
Whorls: 4-5

This species has a large, ovoid shell with at least five strong “teeth” in the aperture and a callus on the outer (palatal) wall. It is most similar in the regional fauna to Vertigo ovata, but differs by lacking an infraparietal lamella, and in possessing a silky shell luster. Vertigo oralis also has indistinct radial lines across the shell surface. While once considered a subspecies of Vertigo rugosula (Pilsbry 1948), recent genetics work shows V. oralis is highly distinct (Nekola, unpublished data).

Vertigo oralis resides in broadleaf and grassy leaf litter accumulations, and under logs, in wooded cypress, oak and sweetgum wetlands, red maple swamps, and riparian and pocosin scrub (Nekola & Coles 2010).

Synonyms for this animal’s name include Vertigo ovulum ovalis and Vertigo rugosula ovalis.

This animal ranges from the southern Delmarva Peninsula, south along the Atlantic coast to south Florida, and west to east Texas. In Virginia, it is currently reported only from the Great Dismal Swamp region. It should be expected, however, throughout the southeastern Virginia seaboard, including the counties east of Chesapeake Bay.

NatureServe Global Rank: G5
NatureServe State Rank: S1S3
Virginia’s wildlife action plan: Tier IV


Jeff Nekola 9/2012

Range Map