Land Snails of BC

Royal BC Museum Handbook (with addendum & errata)
By Robert G. Forsyth

Land Snails of BC

Land Snails of British Columbia.

Land Snails of British Columbia, published in 2004 by the Royal BC Museum, includes full descriptions and illustrations for 88 species of terrestrial snails and slugs that live in the province, with the ambersnails (family Succineidae — see the checklist) listed. Each full species description include information on natural history and distribution inside and outside of British Columbia. Keys to genera, and when necessary, to species, are included. A comprehensive glossary of terms, and an extensive bibliography fills out the book. A colour section that consists of 8 pages highlights living animals in their natural habitat. The Introduction briefly introduces the reader to reproduction, life history, diet, locomotion, shell structure, the taxonomic classification of terrestrial gastropods, and history of terrestrial malacology in BC.

The book is part of the popular and long-running Royal British Columbia Museum Handbook series; begun in the 1940’s, handbooks cover a variety of natural history and ethnobotanical subjects. The author, Robert Forsyth, is an amateur malacologist and is a research associate with the Royal BC Museum. He has studied terrestrial molluscs of British Columbia since 1990 and currently lives in [Kamloops], BC.

  • Forsyth, Robert G. 2004. Land Snails of British Columbia. Royal BC Museum Handbook. Victoria: Royal BC Museum. 188 pages + [8] colour plates. ISBN 0-7726-5218-X.

See a list of all my publications here.

Addendum & errata

Introduction (p. 4)
… Pulmonata is ranked as a subclass, but many recent classification schemes …

Names of Snails and Slugs (p. 20)
… as in Cryptomastix germana 

History of Terrestrial Malacology in B.C. (p. 22)
For more information on the life of John Keast Lord, see: Baker, D.B.(2002, John Keast Lord: Materials for a Life.Leiden: Backhuys Publishers. viii + 65 pages).

Checklist (p. 24)
Genus Lauria J.E. Gray in Turton, 1830 1840.

Key to Snails (p. 31):
Couplet 9b: add Novisuccinea.
Couplet 17: occasionally Allogona ptychophora do have a very low parietal denticle or callus and will key out wrongly as Cryptomastix.

Family Succineidae (p. 39)
First sentence should read: “Shells of these mostly wetland snails …”

Add to the family Succineidae (p. 39) and to the Checklist (p. 24) the following species:
Novisuccinea strigata (Pfeiffer, 1855)
Synonym. Succinea rotundata Sowerby, 1862; S. chrysis Westerlund, 1883; S. annexa Westerlund, 1883; S. lineata W.G. Binney, 1885. Found on the Liard Plain in northern BC in 2004. Selected references: Dall, 1905; Gusarov, 1999; Likharev and Rammel’meier 1962; Pilsbry 1948.

Lauria cylindracea (p. 43)
Figure: Both left and right figures are adult snails. The right snail is only a shorter form, common in all populations.
Etymology (p. 44): According to Kennard & Woodword (Synonymy of the British Non-marine Mollusca, 1926), Lauria was probably named after Laura Gray, a niece of John Edward Gray.

Planogyra clappi (p. 44)
The body is white, rather translucent, with the dorsal head and tentacles darker (grey).

Pupilla hebes (p.52)
Distribution. Found (2004) from several additional sites near Good Hope Lake and north of Atlin in northwestern B.C.

Columella columella (p.54)
The author should be written as “G. von Martens” to differentiate from “E. von Martens” elsewhere.

Nearctula species (p. 57)
Synonym: no final ‘e’ in Newcomb.

Vertigo andrusiana (p. 59)
Distribution. Correct to “San Bernardino”.

Vertigo arthuri (p.54)
The author should be written as “E. von Martens” to differentiate from “G. von Martens” elsewhere.
Vertigo gouldii does not occur in BC; the description of V. gouldii refers to a form of V. arthuri.

Vertigo modesta (p. 65)
Synonyms. “?Pupa corpulenta parietalis Ancey, 1887″ should be “1888”(described in the issue of The Nautilus published on 23 January 1888).
Distribution (p. 66): add Kamchatka and the Kurile Islands. Also Europe, if Vertigo arctica is a synonym.

Anguispira kochi (p. 79)
Anguispira kochi (Pfeiffer, 1821)” should be “1846”, and again, in the synonyms.

Vitrea contracta (p. 93)
Comparison: … both has a larger umbilicus and no spiral striae.
Distribution. Found (2004) at Skidegate, Haida Gwaii.

Zonitoides arboreus (p. 98)
The year of publication for this species is 1817, not 1816, as usually written.

Daudebardiidae (p. 101)
Correct spelling of “Daudebariidae” to “Dardebardiidae” in heading. Or rather, use the family name Oxychilidae.

Vitrina pellucida (p. 109)
Genitalia: remove Roth & Lindberg 1981 reference; they did not describe or illustrate this species’ genitalia. To avoid confusion clarify the final paragraph of Description: ” It differs from the related V. angelicae … by having much of the penis and vas deferens enclosed together in a sheath of protective tissue …”.
Vitrina exilis Morelet, 1861, from northeast Asia but also identified in older literature from Alaska, is another synonym according to Likharev (1963, On the fauna of the terrestrial molluscs in the Kamtchatkan region.Trudy Kamchatskoj Kompleksnoj Ekspeditsii, p. 65-81, in L.A. Portenko (Editor), Fauna Kamchatskoj Oblasti).

Hemphillia camelus (p. 137)
Correct distribution to read “Southeast BC, Alberta and Idaho.” (Not Montana.) Also, remove “Kamloops”. Under Selected References, remove Frest & Johannes (2001) reference.

Hemphillia glandulosa (p. 139)
Change “Bland & W.G. Binney 1873” to “… 1872”.

Arion hortensis (p. 148)
This species has now been confirmed for British Columbia (H. Reise, pers. comm.).

Allogona ptychophora (p. 148)
Description: Aperture usually lacks a parietal denticle, but occasionally shells with a low parietal denticle, or just a small white callus, do occur. Watch out using the Key to Snails, p. 31!

Key to species of Cryptomastix (p. 151)
Couplet 1b should read “Shell width more than 9 mm …”.

Cryptomastix mullani (p. 152).
Description: read 6 whorls not 16!

Cepaea nemoralis (p. 161)
Etymology: Cepaea from κηπαιος (cepaios), Greek, “pertaining to a garden” according to Pilsbry (1939) and Kennard & Woodward (1926).

Hygromiidae, Trochulus, and Trochulus striolatus should be added
Discovered in BC in 2007.

Photo credits (p. 184)
Two names of contributing photographers were unfortunately misspelled: I once again thank Drs. Vollrath Wiese and John Hutchinson for the use of their photos, and apologize for these error.