02 July 2009

Helix aspersa from San Diego

A friend at work walked into my office today with a plastic water bottle containing a live snail. It was a gift* for me picked up by her husband yesterday in San Diego, California.


I am tentatively identifying it as Helix aspersa (Cantareus aspersus), an introduction from Europe. It was found with several others in a flower bed at a hotel, an unlikely place to find native local species. It is a juvenile with a soft, still not-reflected lip. First, I though it was a Helix aperta, a species I am not familiar with, but now I am leaning towards the former.

The snail still hasn't fully come out of its shell. It appears moribund, actually. Could it be suffering from jet lag? I hope it will recover and grow to become an adult so that I can be certain of its identity.

*It was the same couple who brought back Littorina littorea for me from Bar Harbor, Maine.


DPC said...

Definitely not H. aperta/ C. apertus. C. aspersus seems right, in which case it's one whorl away from adulthood.

xoggoth said...

Having often looked on the net for images of invertebrates when doing cartoon buttons, I have found that US species can be very similar in appearance to ours.

Looks like your first idea. The Garden Snail, another creature common one in my garden. The sister's painting of one is here:


George said...

I lived in southern California some years ago, and snails closely resembling these were very abundant in gardens and other irrigated places. They were considered pests, both for the damage they did to garden plants and also because they were a food source for all-to-abundant rats (Rattus, not natives).

vanessa cardui said...

All too common in my southern CA garden; can I send them to you?


Thanks for the offer, but I don't need any.