Tag Archives: Bulkley Valley

Smithers’ first bioblitz

Two terrestrial molluscs added to the Glacier Gulch list

Recently, July 30 and 31, 2011, the first ever Smithers’ bioblitz was held at Glacier Gulch on Hudson Bay Mountain. I participated, looked for snails and took photographs. Turn out was excellent although the weather was inclement, as it has been for much of the summer.

Five species of land snails were known from Glacier Gulch: Euconulus fulvus, Vertigo modesta (photographed), Discus whitneyi, Punctum randolphii, and Columella edentula. One additional species of snail, Vespericola columbianus (below), and an introduced Arion slug were found by bioblitzers, bringing the total to seven species. Vespericola columbianus has been found before on Hudson Bay Mountain, and more unusually, in the valley.

Vertigo modesta

Vertigo modesta.

Vespericola columbiana

Vespericola columbiana.


Bulkley Valley Mollusca

A checklist of species

Over a decade ago, I published a paper on the snails of this area (Forsyth 2001), comparing what I found in the valley to the (rather wetter) mountain slopes. The results are pretty much unchanged, though I have since made many additional collections and observations from more sites. Here is the updated list that for completeness also includes the freshwater (aquatic) molluscs known to me (the Bivalvia and the gastropod families Lymnaeidae, Physidae, and Planorbidae).


Family Unionidae [aquatic]

  • Anodonta kennerleyi – Western Floater

 Family Sphaeriidae [aquatic]

  • Musculium securis – Pond Fingernailclam
  • Pisidium spp. – Peaclams

Family Lymnaeidae [aquatic]

  • Galba galbana – Boreal Fossaria
  • Galba modicella – Rock Fossaria
  • Lymnaea stagnalis – Swamp Lymnaea
  • Stagnicola catascopium – Woodland Pondsnail
  • Stagnicola elodes – Marsh Pondsnail

 Family Physidae [aquatic]

  • Physella gyrina – Tadpole Physa

 Family Planorbidae [aquatic]

  • Gyraulus circumstriatus – Disc Gyro
  • Gyraulus deflectus – Flexed Gyro
  • Gyraulus parvus – Ash Gyro
  • Helisoma anceps – Two-ridge Rams-horn
  • Planorbella trivolvis – Marsh Rams-horn
  • Promenetus exacuous – Umbilicate Sprite
  • Ferrissia fragilis – Fragile Ancylid

 Family Succineidae

  • Oxyloma sp. – Ambersnail

 Family Cochlicopidae

  • Cochlicopa lubrica – Glossy Pillar

 Family Valloniidae

  • Vallonia excentrica – Iroquois Vallonia
  • Vallonia gracilicosta – Multirib Vallonia
  • Vallonia pulchella – Lovely Vallonia
  • Zoogenetes harpa – Boreal Top

Family Vertiginidae

  • Columella columella – Mellow Column
  • Columella edentula – Toothless Column
  • Vertigo columbiana – Columbia Vertigo
  • Vertigo cristata – Crested Vertigo
  • Vertigo modesta – Cross Vertigo
  • Vertigo ovata – Ovate Vertigo

Family Punctidae

  • Paralaoma servilis – Pin-head Spot
  • Punctum randolphii – Conical Spot

 Family Discidae

  • Discus whitneyi – Forest Disc

 Family Pristilomatidae

  • Pristiloma arcticum – Northern Tightcoil
  • Pristiloma chersinella – Black-foot Tightcoil
  • Pristiloma lansingi – Denticulate Tightcoil

 Family Euconulidae

  • Euconulus fulvus – Brown Hive
  • Euconulus praticola – Marsh Hive

 Family Gastrodontidae

  • Zonitoides arboreus – Quick Gloss

 Family Oxychilidae

  • Nesovitrea binneyana – Blue Glass
  • Nesovitrea electrina – Amber Glass

 Family Vitrinidae

  • Vitrina pellucida – Western Glass-snail

 Family Agriolimacidae

  • Deroceras laeve – Meadow Slug
  • Deroceras reticulatum – Grey Fieldslug

 Family Arionidae

  • Arion subfuscus – Dusky Arion

 Family Helicidae

  • Cepaea nemoralis – Grovesnail

 Family Polygyridae

  • Vespericola columbianus – Northwest Hesperian

 Family Thysanophoridae

  • Microphysula cookei – Vancouver Snail


Further reading

  • Forsyth, R.G. “2001″ [2002]. New records for land snails from the mountains of northwestern British Columbia. The Canadian Field-Naturalist 115 (2): 223–228. [pdf here or at Biodersity Heritage Library]

Fragmentary evidence

Cepaea nemoralis in the Bulkley Valley

In recent years, Cepaea nemoralis, the introduced European Grovesnail, has been turning up more and more.

This past summer I was asked to identify two separate records of C. nemoralis from Quesnel, BC. The population there is apparently well-established. However, in the Bulkley Valley where I live in north-central BC, Cepaea nemoralis certainly isn’t common.

As far as I know, it’s been found at least on three occasions over three years. The first individual brought to my attention was a large adult found on a road in a rural part of Smithers in October 2008. A little later that fall, in my own vegetable garden, I found an immature snail. Its presence there was almost certainly due to the movement of plants north from by dad’s garden, then in Surrey. In the two years since then, Cepaea nemoralis hasn’t been seen again in my garden so I can presume that this unintentional transplant failed.

The third observation on Cepaea in the Valley was in September 2010, in the village of Telkwa about 15 km “east” of Smithers on Highway 16. I was cycling uphill, leaving Telkwa, when I glimpsed — very fleetingly — what looked to be a “large” snail. (Large is a relative term here . . . almost all snails in the Bulkley Valley are < 6 mm). What I had spotted, and almost missed, turned out to be the apical part of a Cepaea nemoralis shell. A quick look along the roadside didn’t turn up additional shells, and a better search is surely worthwhile.

Fragment of Cepaea nemoralis found at Telkwa

Fragment of Cepaea nemoralis found at Telkwa.

So I’m uncertain whether Cepaea nemoralis is established in the Bulkley Valley. At the moment, the evidence is (literally) fragmentary.