Tiny snails

A minute terrestrial snail which I think may be in the genus Pupoides but that’s just a guess for now.


I keep a running checklist of the various plant, fungi, and animal species that live on or transit through my property. A list I’ve wanted to start is one on the gastropods (snails and slugs) that live here. There are a few slug species although I don’t have a number yet and only one species is positively identified. Snails are a different matter. Our soils are calcium deficient so big snails won’t live here. Tiny snails, know as “minute terrestrial snails” because they are so small, do live here. These snails are indeed small measuring about 1 to 5 mm in length.

Today, before I went to the garden to plant another row of potatoes, I took a walk in the wind-break where an old clay chimney pipe had lain under the trees for many years. When I lifted up the pipe I found the snail shown above and three other species only one of which I had seen here before. In less than a minute my checklist went from two species to six although at this point identification has only gotten as far as genus and even that is not certain. Snail identification is not easy especially with these tiny ones but once winter comes and if I can sift out enough empty shells from the forest duff I might start to get a handle on them.

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