Virginia Land Snails

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

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Vertigo ovata Say, 1822

Family: Vertiginidae

Height: ~2.3 mm
Width: ~1.4 mm
Whorls: 4-5

This species has a large shell with smooth surface, and at least six apertural lamellae. With these characteristics it most resembles Vertigo teskeyae and Vertigo oralis. It differs from V. teskeyae by possessing a less obese shell with a deeper suture and a columellar wall of the aperture that curves back towards the central shell axis. It differs from V. oralis by its shiny shell luster and common presence of an infraparietal lamella.

Populations are primarily found in graminoid litter and on cattail leaves in swamps, sedge meadows, wet and mesic prairie, low calcareous meadows, river banks, lakeshores, roadside ditches, and wooded wetlands. It is also occasionally found on bedrock outcrops, upland forest, and upland grassland habitats. It can climb vegetation to approximately one meter (three feet) off the ground (Nekola & Coles, 2010).

A synonym for this animal’s name is Pupa ovata.

Vertigo ovata ranges across all of North America from northern Quebec and the Alaskan interior to California, southern Arizona, the Gulf Coast, and south Florida. It also extends south into the West Indies (Pilsbry, 1948). In Virginia this species has been reported from most of the state.

NatureServe Global Rank: G5
NatureServe State Rank: S4
Virginia’s wildlife action plan: Tier IV


Jeff Nekola 9/2012

Range Map