Zoogenetes harpa

Zoogenetes harpa (Say, 1824)
Boreal Top

  • Helix harpa Say 1824: 256, pl. 15, fig. 1.
  • Pupa costulata Mighels 1844: 187.
Zoogenetes harpa, Goathorn Creek, Bulkley Ranges, British Columbia (RGF 07.106.373), height of shell 3.4 mm.

Identification. Shell conic-ovate. Spire raised, conical. Whorls ca 4, convex. Suture deep. Periphery rounded. Aperture subrotund, edentulous. Lip thin, simple. Protoconch microscopically granular. Teleoconch with rather evenly, widely spaced, lamellar (periostracal) colabral ribs and irregular incremental striae. Ribs sometimes in part obsolete or unequal. Umbilicus tiny. Shell semitranslucent, with a silky lustre; brown. Height to 3.4 mm (higher than wide).

Zoogenetes harpa
Living snail

Animal grey with darker ocular tentacles and pale foot; mantle dark grey, speckled with white. Foot prominently crenulated. Large labial lobes present. Sensory tentacles nearly obsolete (Pilsbry 1948).

Habitat. Dry to mesic forests generally. Often on acidic soils. Sometimes in somewhat disturbed places such as road­sides, and rarely in drier parts of marshes. Often occurring in sporadic, discreet colonies but usually abundant within each colony. In leaf litter and under rocks and dead wood, including fallen branches and logs. During cool, wet weather, climbing vegetation and tree trunks.

Global range. Northern Europe through northern Asia. In North America, much of Canada and the northern USA south along the Rockies to Colorado.

Canadian range. Widespread across most of Canada: known from every province and territory except Nunavut. In British Columbia, absent along the coast. Seemingly rare in south-eastern BC; quite common in the north-central interior. In Ontario, almost entirely absent from areas along the Great Lakes, but known south as far as the Bruce Peninsula, where it may be rare.

Etymology. Latin: “a harp”.

Remarks. Zoogenetes harpa is ovoviviparous; that is, the young hatch from their egg within the parent and emerge as fully developed snails. At birth, the young are as large as the aperture of the adult shell (Pilsbry 1895 [1893–1895]).