Those who are interested in the terrestrial gastropods of Canada now have a book at their disposal: Identifying Land Snails and Slugs in Canada – Introduced Species and Native Genera. This recently released work is a joint effort by F. Wayne Grimm (deceased), Robert G. Forsyth, Frederick W. Schueler and Aleta Karstad. Free copies may be ordered from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
The 166-page paperback book includes the descriptions of all the native and the introduced terrestrial gastropod genera of Canada as well as the descriptions of all the introduced species. Good photographs or drawings of all of the introduced species and many of the natives are also provided. Aleta Karstad's watercolor drawings of the introduced slugs are especially noteworthy. Many of them can easily pass for photographs.
The book opens with several sections giving general information on terrestrial gastropod biology and collecting and studying techniques that would be useful for newcomers and closes with an illustrated glossary and a list of references.
My criticisms are minor and stem from my personal biases and needs. I dislike the silly common names for gastropods that have been circulating out there and would rather have nothing to do with them. But unfortunately they were used in this book. I also wish more detailed locality information for some of the introduced species had been given. For example, the coordinates of the only location in Canada where Succinella oblonga has been found would be of more help than the unelaborated "along Hwy 12 north of Brooklin, Durham Regional Municipality, Ontario". The latter is reminiscent of the locality data of Wayne Grimm from the 1950s when nothing better was expected.
I congratulate the authors for this otherwise well-prepared and quite useful book. It will undoubtedly be the standard reference for the Canadian snails and slugs for many years to come. I will certainly take it with me the next time I am going to Canada.