Lauria cylindracea

Lauria cylindracea from Page Lagoon, Nanaimo, BC (RGF 18.128.9173) H: 4.0 mm, scale bar = 1 mm [RF]

Lauria (Lauriacylindracea (Mendes Da Costa, 1778)    
Chrysalis Snail

  • Turbo cydindraceous [sic] Mendes Da Costa 1778: 89 [corrected Turbo cylindraceus in errata].
  • Many additional synonyms in mostly Europe.

Identification. Shell subcylindrical to subovate. Spire tall, sides convex. Whorls ca 6, not very convex. Suture rather shallow. Protoconch smooth. Teleoconch with weak incremental lines/wrinkles. Aperture subovate, with teeth/lamellae within. Angular denticle narrow, slightly curved, and pointed, often connected to upper insertion of lip by a callus and continuing ca ½ whorl inwards. Juveniles with parietal and columellar spiral lamellae, fully internal, radiating basal denticles. Lip expanded, recurved in adults. Umbilicus small, rounded. Shell subtranslucent, pale brown; lip whitish. Height to 4.1 mm (higher than wide).

Animal grey, paler on the sides and sole of foot, and with darker head and tentacles (Reeve 1863, Barker 1999). Tail of crawling animals short and not extending behind the shell (Barker 1999).

Habitat. In gardens (especially unkempt), on waste ground, and in adjacent wooded areas. In leaf litter and under vegetation, including ivy, dead wood, stones, and concrete debris, bricks, lumber, and other debris.

Biology. Ovoviviparous, and during times of drought, the release of young may be delayed, presumably to afford protection of the young from desiccation. This species is relatively long-lived for a small snail, living for about 4–5 years in Israel (Heller et al. 1997, Arad et al. 1998). Aphally is unknown in this species, in contrast to many other species within the Orthurethra.

Lauria cylindracea. South Oyster Road, Vancouver Island, BC.
Lauria cylindracea. South Oyster Road, Vancouver Island, BC [RF].

Global range. Palaearctic: Europe and the Mediterranean region east to the Caucasus and Turkey, Israel, Crimea, Ukraine; Transcaucasia and possibly Daghestan and West Köpet Dagh (Welter-Schultes 2012, Sysoev & Schileyko 2009). Introduced to South Africa, several Atlantic islands, Reunion Island, New Zealand, and Canada.

Canadian range. Introduced to southwestern British Columbia, including southern and south-eastern Vancouver Island (north to at least Nanaimo), the Gulf Islands, and Greater Vancouver. One record at Sardis near Chilliwack (Holm 1988). This species was first recorded in the late 1980s and early 1990s (Holm 1988, 1994) and is now known to be widespread around the southern Strait of Georgia region (Forsyth 1999, unpubl. data).

Etymology. Latin, “cylindrical”.

  • Arad Z, Goldenberg S, Heller J (1998) Short- and long-term resistance to desiccation in a minute litter-dwelling land snail Lauria cylindracea (Pulmonata: Pupillidae). Journal of Zoology 246 (1): 75-81.
  • Barker GM (1999) Naturalised terrestrial Stylommatophora (Mollusca: Gastropoda). Fauna of New Zealand/Ko te Aitanga Pepeke o Aotearoa 38: 1–253.
  • Forsyth RG (1999) Distributions of nine new or little-known exotic land snails in British Columbia. The Canadian Field-Naturalist 113 (4): 559–568.
  • Holm GP (1988) Lauria cylindracea (Da Coata) [sic] a new introduced species to North America. Dredgings [Pacific Northwest Shell Club] 28 (6): 5, 8.
  • Heller J, Sivan N, Hodgson AN (1997) Reproductive biology and population dynamics of an ovoviviparous land snail, Lauria cylindracea (Pupillidae). Journal of Zoology 243 (2): 263-280.
  • Holm GP (1994) A second find of Lauria cylindracea. Dredgings [Pacific Northwest Shell Club] 34 (3): 3–5.
  • Mendes Da Costa E (1778) Historia naturalis testaceorum Britanniæ, or, the British conchology; containing the descriptions and other particulars of natural history of the shells of Great Britain and Ireland: illustrated with figures. In English and French. Millan, White, Emsley & Robson, London, xii + 254 + vii + [251] pp., 217 pls.
  • Reeve L (1863) The land and freshwater mollusks indigenous to, or naturalized in, the British Isles. Reeve & Co., London, United Kingdom, xx, 1 map, 275 pp.
  • Sysoev A, Schileyko A (2009) Land snails and slugs of Russia and adjacent countries. Pensoft, Sofia, Bulgaria, 212 pp. + 142 pls.
  • Welter-Schultes F (2012) European non-marine molluscs, a guide for species identification. Bestimmungsbuch für europäische Land- und Süsswassermollusken. Planet Poster Editions, Göttingen, Germany, [3] + 679 + [78] pp.

Helix pomatia

Helix pomatia from Canatara Park, Sarnia, Ontario (James Kamstra photo).

Helix pomatia Linnaeus, 1758
Roman Snail, Burgundy Snail, Escargot

  • Helix pomatia Linnaeus 1758: 771.
  • Many additional synonyms in Europe.

Identification. Shell subglobose. Spire elevated, conical. Whorls c. 4–5, convex. Periphery rounded, medial on last whorl. Protoconch smooth. Teleoconch with irregular, low colabral ridges/riblets and spiral rows of weak granules. Aperture large, subovate-rounded, inside showing external shell colour, without teeth. Last whorl slightly descending when shell full-grown. Lip not scarcely thickened in adults, narrowly flared outward, more expanded near columella. Umbilicus a narrow cleft, seldom closed. Shell opaque, pale grey-white, with lighter and darker, brownish colabral streaks and, in general, 2–5 spiral chestnut-brown bands (sometimes rather weakly marked or absent; band nearest periphery darkest and broadest); near inner edge of outer lip and columellar lip pale pinkish brown. Width to 42 mm (higher than wide).

Helix pomatia from Montrose, BC (RGF 16.001.8137, NBM 010200). Height of shell 38.6 mm [RF]
Close-up of teleoconch sculpture, Helix pomatia from Montrose, BC (RGF 16.001.8137, NBM 010200) [RF]

Habitat. In parks and gardens in Canada.

Biology. During aestivation and hibernation, this species may seal its aperture with a calcareous epiphragm.

Global range. Central and Southern Europe, but now north to Scandinavian countries and through Western Europe to England (Neubert 2014). Introduced east in Europe to at least Moscow, Russia (Sysoev & Schileyko 2009). Introduced to other continents.

Canadian range. Introduced. Southern British Columbia: Melrose and Revelstoke. Southern Ontario: Sarnia. Populations are apparently reproducing (Forsyth & Kamstra 2019).

Etymology. Helix (G), a spiral; poma (G), “a lid” (Kennard & Woodward 1926), perhaps in reference to the calcified epiphragm used to close the aperture during times of aestivation or hibernation.

  • Forsyth RG, Kamstra J (2019) Roman Snail, Helix pomatia (Mollusca: Helicidae), in Canada. The Canadian Field-Naturalist 133: 156–159.
  • Kennard AS, Woodward BB (1926) Synonymy of the British non-marine Mollusca (Recent and post-Tertiary). British Museum (Natural History), London, xxiv + 447 pp.
  • Linnaeus C (1758) Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Laurentii Salvii, Holmiæ, [4] + 824 pp.
  • Neubert E (2014) Revision of Helix Linnaeus, 1758 in its eastern Mediterranean distribution area, and reassignment of Helix godetiana Kobelt, 1878 to Maltzanella Hesse, 1917 (Gastropoda, Pulmonata, Helicidae). Contributions to Natural History 26: 1–200.
  • Sysoev A, Schileyko A (2009) Land snails and slugs of Russia and adjacent countries. Pensoft, Sofia, Bulgaria, 212 pp. + 142 pls.

Columella columella

Columella columella, from Hwy 37, Pine Tree Lake, Stikine Region, BC (RGF 19.048.9463) [RF].

Columella columella (G. von Martens, 1830)
Mellow Column

  • Pupa columella G. von Martens 1830: 171.
  • Pupilla alticola Ingersoll 1875: 128.

Identification. Shell minute, subcylindrical. Spire tall, sides nearly parallel, straight. Whorls 6–8, with last or penultimate whorl often slightly smaller in calibre than adjacent whorls. Aperture subovate, rather elongate (taller than wide) in mature specimens, edentulous. Lip thin, simple. Umbilicus narrow. Protoconch smooth? Teleoconch sculpture of irregular incremental lines. Shell subtranslucent, yellowish or orangish brown. Height to 2.9 mm (higher than wide).

Habitat. Montane forests, wet intermontane valleys, tundra, and alpine tundra.

Canadian range. An arctic–alpine species: interior and northern mountains of BC; Rocky Mountain Foothills of Alberta; Yukon; tundra near Tuktoyaktuk, NWT; Hudson Bay lowlands, near Churchill, Manitoba; north shore of Lake Superior and Hudson Bay lowlands in Ontario; north shore of the Gulf of St Lawrence in Quebec; Labrador; southern Baffin Island, Nunavut.

  • Ingersoll E (1875) Special report on the Mollusca. In: Report on the natural history of the United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories, 1874. Bulletin of the United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories 1874, 1 (2): 121–142.
  • Martens G von (1830) Natur- und Vaterlandskunde. Ueber Würtembergs Fauna. Correspondenzblatt des Würtembergischen Landwirthschaftlichen Vereins 17 (3): 123–186.