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.