Pupoides albilabris

Pupoides (Pupoides) albolabris (C. B. Adams, 1841)
White-lip Dagger

  • Cyclostoma marginata Say 1821: 172; non Cyclostoma marginatum G. Fischer, 1807.
  • Bulimus nitidulus L. Pfeiffer 1839: 352, non Bulimus nitidulus Beck, 1837.
  • Pupa albilabris “Ward” C. B. Adams 1841: 271, nomum novum pro Cyclostoma marginata Say, 1821.
  • Additional synonyms and possible synonyms in the Caribbean region and South America.
Pupoides albilabris
Pupoides albilabris. Tiny, Simcoe Co., Ontario (Forsyth collection 08.276.2112), height: 4.75 mm.

Identification. Shell turreted. Spire elongate, clearly tapering, with sides slightly convex. Whorls 5–6, convex. Periphery rounded. Protoconch smooth. Teleoconch sculpture weak incremental lines; surface somewhat satiny. Aperture ovate. Apertural dentition none or with a small, angular tooth connected to the lip at its upper insertion. Adult lip thickened, broadly expanded. Umbilicus rimate/minutely perforate. Shell translucent, pale brown; lip opaque, whitish. Height to 5.0 mm (higher than wide).

Animal grey with head and tentacles darker. Shells of living snails often coated with soil and debris.

Shells of living snails are often coated with soil (Pilsbry 1948).

Habitat. Well-drained, often hot, sunny places; most often associated with limestone. In alvars, forest openings, rock deciduous woods, sandy savannas, and sand dunes behind lakeshore beaches; also, in weedy roadsides, railways, unnatural openings in forests, and abandoned gravel and limestone quarries. Under logs and other dead wood, debris and rubbish, and rocks.

In Virginia, P. albolabris has been found around decaying stumps of maple and oak (Burch 1954) and on the plains of Oklahoma, around the roots of tufts of grass (Branson 1961). During wet weather snails may climb the stems of plants (Hubricht 1985) or tree trunks (Pilsbry 1948). In the western plains, P. albilabris has occasionally been found in riparian forests under rocks and in leaf litter (Branson 1961, Nekola & Coles 2010). Shells of this species are occasionally found in southern Ontario stream drift.

Global range. In the USA, Vermont south Florida and the Gulf Coast states, west to Colorado, Arizona, and southern California (Bequaert & Miller 1973, Roth & Sadeghian 2003, Nekola & Coles 2010). Its presence in California is believed to be the result of an introduction (Roth & Sadeghian 2003). Northern Mexico, including Baja California (Smith et al. 1990), to Nuevo León and Tamaulipas (Correa-Sandoval et al. 2007); Bermuda; several islands in the Caribbean, including Cuba, Puerto Rico (van der Schalie 1948), Hispaniola, Jamaica, Antigua, St Bartholomew, Curaçao, and the Bahamas, as well as coastal Venezuela, Colombia, and Peru (Pilsbry 1920–1921).

Canadian range. Southern Ontario: mostly not far from lakes Ontario and Erie, but also north along the shore of Lake Huron and to Simcoe County; east to Hastings County. There is an old, unconfirmed record from Rivière Rouge, Quebec, which seems unlikely.

Etymology. Latin: albi, white, + labri, lip.

Remarks. Three other names are most often met with in the older literature. Cyclostoma marginata Say is a homonym of C. marginata Fischer and is unavailable, although Pupa marginata appears in some literature. Prior to about 1900, most publications used the name Pupa fallax, whichwasoriginally proposed by Say (1825) from material sent him from a colleague in Milton, Massachusetts. However, it was later determined that P. fallax was based on a misplaced specimen of the European Ena obscura, now Merdigera obscura (O. F. Müller, 1774), family Enidae (Pilsbry 1948). The next available name is Pupa albilabris, attributed to “Ward” but described by C. B. Adams (1841).

Subspecies were sometimes recognized for southern populations: P. albilabris nitidulus (L. Pfeiffer, 1839) from Bermuda, the Caribbean region, and coastal Venezuela and Colombia (Pilsbry 1921); and P. albilabris peruvianus Weyrauch, 1960, from central Peru (Weyrauch 1960). Bequaert & Miller (1973) doubted the validity of both of these, and Rosenberg & Muratov (2005) regarded nitidulus as a synonym of P. albilabris. If subspecies were warranted, Canadian populations would take the name P. albilabris albilabris.


  • Adams CB (1841) Catalogue of the Mollusca of Middebury, Vt., and vicinity, with observations. American Journal of Science and Arts 40: 266–277.
  • Bequaert JC, Miller WB (1973) The mollusks of the arid southwest with an Arizona checklist. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, xiv + 271 pp.
  • Branson BA (1961) The Recent Gastropoda of Oklahoma, III. Terrestrial species: Pupillidae, Carychiidae, Strobilopsidae and Oligyridae. Proceedings of the Oklahoma Academy of Science 41: 45–69.
  • Burch JB (1954) The land snails of Henrico Co., Virginia. The Nautilus 68: 30–33.
  • Correa-Sandoval A, Strenth NE,  Salazar Rodríguez MdC (2007) Zoogeografía de los gastrópodos terrestres del sur de Nuevo León, México. Acta Zoológica Mexicana (n.s.) 23: 143–162.
  • Hubricht L (1985) The distributions of the native land mollusks of the eastern United States. Fieldiana, Zoology (New Series) 24: i–viii, 1–191.
  • Nekola JC, Coles BF (2010) Pupillid land snails of eastern North America. American Malacological Bulletin 28: 1–29.
  • Pfeiffer L (1839) Bericht über die Ergebnisse meiner Reise nach Cuba im Winter 1838–1839. Archiv für Naturgeschichte 5: 346–358.
  • Pilsbry HA (1921)
  • Pilsbry HA (1948) Land Mollusca of North America (north of Mexico), 2(2). The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Monographs 3: i–xlvii + 521–1113 pp.
  • Rosenberg G, Muratov IV (2005) Status report on the terrestrial Mollusca of Jamaica. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 155: 117–161.
  • Roth B, Sadeghian PS (2003) Checklist of the land snails and slugs of California. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Contributions in Science 3: 1–81.
  • Say T (1821) Descriptions of univalve shells of the United States. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 2: 149–179.
  • Smith AG, Miller WB, Christensen CC, Roth B (1990) Land Mollusca of Baja California, Mexico. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 47: 95–158.
  • Weyrauch WK (1960) Siebzehn neue Landschnecken aus Peru. Archiv für Molluskenkunde 89: 117–132, pls 111, 112.