Cepaea hortensis

Cepaea (Cepaea) hortensis (O. F. Müller, 1774)
White-Lip Gardensnail

  • Helix hortensis O. F. Müller 1774: 52.
  • Helix subglobosa A. Binney 1837 (1837–1841): 485, pl. 17.
  • Many additional synonyms in Europe.
Cepaea hortensis, Ottawa
Cepaea hortensis; Burnt Lands alvar, Ottawa, Ontario, September 2012.

Identification. Shell subglobose. Spire elevated, conical. Whorls 4½–5¼, convex. Periphery rounded. Protoconch smooth. Teleoconch irregular, low, round-topped colabral wrinkles with microscopic, semi-spiral wrinkles (almost malleated) in interspaces. Periostracum varnish-like. Aperture subovate, without teeth, width approximately equal to height. Last whorl descending when shell full grown. Lip not thickened in adults, strongly expanded. Umbilicus closed in adults. Shell glossy, semi-opaque; straw-yellow, without bands or with 1–5 pale to dark brown bands (may be fused together); lip white. Width to 18–23 mm (wider than high).

Cepaea hortensis; Saint John, NB.

Animal greyish brown; tentacles grey, with darker streaks.

Recognized from C. hortensis by its usually smaller, more globular shell with a pale peristome.

Habitat. On open, grassy, coastal islands and headlands; stable seaside dunes; in gardens and vacant land.

Canadian range. Near the coast, in Newfoundland and the Maritime Provinces, along the St Lawrence river valley in Quebec. Presumably introduced to southeastern Ontario: Ottawa region and Prince Edward County.

Etymology. Latin: of gardens.