Saturday, May 11, 2013

Skunk cabbage snail

We found several of these little snails on a skunk cabbage in Burns Bog. I haven't seen any like them before.

This one was on a blade of grass. It's about 1 cm. long.

Isn't it a cutie?

I haven't been able to identify this snail; I hardly know where to start.



I wrote Robert Forsyth of, and he identified it as one of the ambersnails. He writes,
This is one of a group of snail that pretty much look all alike. They are the Ambersnails, family Succineidae, and are characterized by a very thin yellowish (usually; hence the name) shell having few (about 3) turns or whorls. The opening is large and while the animal can fully retract, there isn’t a lot of protection afforded by the shell. The main differences between the several genera are anatomical, especially the reproductive system. Genera (and so species) are nearly impossible to identify with shells alone. Our species — the number is uncertain — are further complicated by most being nearly unknown anatomically. Genetics may be the answer to sort out this difficult group. In our area, most succineid snails are inhabitants of somewhat characteristically wet areas, like marshes and edges of waterways, although there are dryland ambersnails (there’s one that lives in the xeric hills around Kamloops for example, in areas with prickly pear cactus even). I should also add that some freshwater snails come very close to looking like ambersnails, further complicating identification at times.
Thanks again, Robert!



    this key might help, it is for Washington but if it is native to you it might be here

  2. Thanks, Upupaepops!

    I couldn't find it there, although I have sort of, maybe, found its relatives. I've sent a photo to an expert on BC snails. (He doesn't have it in his book or website, either, but he should be able to narrow things down.)

  3. I figured you would get a Genus from the key.

    It is quite a nice little snail. I keep a terrarium and had a Allogona snail. It instantly blessed me with many more, so I am in the process of returning them to the great outdoors.

  4. It is a nice little snail - I've not ever seen any like it - it almost looks like it is going backwards.

  5. What an interesting shape. Very unusual. - Margy

  6. Thanks again, Upupaepops,

    Turns out that the hint I got from your link was correct; it's an ambersnail.

  7. I will have to investigate Skunk Cabbage more closely

  8. Huh, I have a very similar snail all over the skunk cabbage in my back yard, but I live all the way over in New Jersey. I gave up on trying to ID it. Now at least I have a place to start.


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