Cornu aspersum

Cornu aspersum (O. F. Müller, 1774)

Brown Gardensnail

  • Helix aspersa O. F. Müller 1774: 59.
  • Many additional synonyms in Europe.
Cornu aspersum, Burnaby, BC.

Identification. Shell subglobose. Spire elevated, conical. Whorls ca 4½, convex. Periphery rounded. Protoconch smooth. Teleoconch with weak, raised colabral threads, fine spiral striae, and weak malleations. Aperture nearly rounded, without teeth. Last whorl descending when shell full grown. Lip in adults not much thickened but strongly expanded. Umbilicus closed by the broadly expanded lip, or rarely a narrow cleft. Shell opaque, straw-yellow or pale brown with darker brown spiral bands interrupted with irregular pale streaks; lip white. Width to 32 mm (higher than wide).

Habitat. In gardens, along roads, and on vacant, disturbed land.

Canadian range. Introduced to southern British Columbia: Victoria area north along east coast of Vancouver Island to Nanaimo (unpubl. data) and Campbell River (iNaturalist); Saltspring Island; Port Alberni (unpubl. data); Metro Vancouver (Forsyth 2004).

While there is a very old record in the literature from Nova Scotia, the species has not been found there since (Davis 1990). Picard et al. (2017) reported an interception of C. aspersum on produce in a Quebec grocery store.

Etymology. Latin: aspersus, “speckled”.


  • Forsyth RG (2004) Land snails of British Columbia. Royal BC Museum Handbook. Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria, iv + 188 + [8] pp.
  • Müller OF (1774) Vermium terrestrium et fluviatilium, seu animalium Infusorium, Helminthicorum, et Testaceorum, non marinorum, succincta historia. Volumen alterum: Testacea. Heineck & Faber, Havniæ & Lipsia, xxxvi + 214 + [x] pp.
  • Picard I, Deroches J-F, Ethier G (2017) Première mention de l’hélice des bois (Arianta arbustorum) au Québec et mention anecdotique du petit-gris (Cornu aspersum). Le naturaliste canadien 141: 27–30.