07 July 2005

Neohelix albolabris

This is one of the first land snails Thomas Say described in 1817. Say called it Helix albolabris. In chronological order, it has since been placed in the genera Mesodon, Polygyra, Triodopsis and finally, Neohelix.

This is the largest native northeastern U.S. land snail; its shell diameter may reach 30 mm or more. It is a woodland species, but I have found it most abundantly in relatively young 2nd growth forests.

The drawings below are from Amos Binney's 1851-1857 classic The Terrestrial Air-breathing Mollusks of the United States.

In large lots one usually finds so-called "dentate" shells, shells with a tooth on the parietal wall of the aperture. All of the shells in the picture below (and many others) were collected from one station. Each of the 4 shells in the bottom row has a parietal tooth (arrows), decreasing in prominence from left to right.


Zippo said...

I live in New Hampshire and N. albolabris can be found living in some of the woods around us. They were my very first pet land snails and I have even managed to breed them (though keeping the babies alive was difficult. very high mortality rates.)

They're quite charming little animals if you can find them! :)

Anonymous said...

Have you read the charming little book The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey? You might enjoy it.


Yes. Here: http://snailstales.blogspot.com/2010/09/elisabeth-and-snail.html