Helicidae

Family Helicidae Rafinesque, 1815

This almost exclusively Palaearctic family contains many genera and numerous species, is widely distributed over Europe, east to the Caucasus region, North Africa, the Atlantic archipelagos of Madeira and the Canary Islands, the Arabian Peninsula, the Middle East, and Asia Minor (Schileyko 2006). Only one species, Cepaea hortensis, is native to North America (Pearce et al. 2017), where it is largely restricted to areas immediately along the Atlantic coast. In addition to C. hortensis, three introduced species, belonging to two genera, are established in Canada.

Species in Canada
Arianta arbustorum (Linnaeus, 1758)*
Cepaea (Cepaea) hortensis (O. F. Müller, 1774)
Cepaea (Cepaea) nemoralis (Linnaeus, 1758)*
Cornu aspersum (O. F. Müller, 1774)*
Helix pomatia Linnaeus, 1758*

* = introduced

Subfamily Ariantinae Mörch, 1864

Genus Arianta Leach in Turton, 1831

  • Arianta Leach in Turton 1831: 35; type species by monotypy: Helix arbustorum Linnaeus, 1758.

Etymology. Named after Ariantas (Greek): king of Scythia, a kingdom in the Ponto-Caspian region of Eurasia.


Subfamily Helicinae Rafinesque, 1815

Tribe Helicini Rafinesque, 1815

Genus Cepaea Held, 1837

  • Cepaea Held 1837: 910; type species by subsequent designation (Gray 1847): Helix nemoralis Linnaeus, 1758.

Etymology. Greek: Cepaios, of a garden.

Subgenus Cepaea Held, 1837

Genus Cornu Born, 1778

  • Cornu Born 1778: 371; type species by monotypy: Cornu copiae Born, 1778 (= Helix aspera O. F. Müller, 1774).

Etymology. Latin: a horn. Neuter.

Genus Helix Linnaeus, 1758

  • Helix Linnaeus 1758: 645, 758; type species (ICZN 1926, Opinion 94): Helix pomatia Linnaeus, 1758.

Etymology. Greek, helix, a spiral. Feminine.