Cone-shaped terrestrial snail from Ontario

2018 October 6

While we were at the Riverbend Campground on June 24, 2018, I was strolling around and spotted this little snail crawling along the edge of a leaf.


You can clearly see its eyestalks, including the dark optic nerve running up them. I understand that snail eyesight isn’t so hot, but they do have the advantage that the stalks allow them to peek around the edge of their shells.


It turns out that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has published a nice little book, “Identifying Land Snails and Slugs in Canada”, that I was able to download as a free PDF. The main key to identification is shell shape, and from that I am pretty sure that this snail is in the family Succineidae. Of course, it then goes on to say that “Without investigating characters of the reproductive system, identifications to genera and certainly species should, at best, be considered tentative”. Which basically means that without a dissecting microscope, I should probably stop right where I am, at the family level.

There are some nice drawings of snail reproductive tracts in the book to be used for species ID, but that’s not the sort of thing that you can see in photographs.

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