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Oregon Forestsnail, photo by Ryan Durand


By Robert G. Forsyth
Research Associate
Royal British Columbia Museum

There are about 94 species of  terrestrial snails and slugs in British Columbia, but it seems likely that this number will increase as additional species are recognized from the province. Snails and slugs are gastropods (class Gastropoda) belonging to a large and successful group of invertebrate animals known as molluscs (phylum Mollusca).  Strictly speaking, in British Columbia all of our terrestrial gastropods  possess a ‘lung’ for respiration rather than gills, which are typical of most aquatic forms, and belong to the order (or subclass) Pulmonata.  However, there frequently live several other somewhat amphibious snails — often in close proximity to ‘typical’ land snails — that are traditionally treated as components of either the freshwater (Bakerilymnaea bulimoides and Fossaria spp.) or semi-marine fauna (Littorina subrotundata, Cecina manchurica, Assiminea translucens and Myosotella myosotis). In other parts of the world, and especially in the tropics, gill-bearing, ‘prosobranch’ gastropods have fully adapted to life on land.

Pacific Sideband, photo by Ryan Durand

Land snails and slugs live in a wide variety of terrestrial habits throughout British Columbia— including forests of all types, rock slides, alpine tundra and meadows and marshes. Many of these are not native, live in city gardens and in other modified habitats.

At least 26 species of terrestrial snails and slugs in British Columbia are introduced. Most of these exotic species are ultimately of European origin, but their date of arrival and means of introduction are not known. It can be inferred, however, that most arrived through passive dispersal on imported plants, and snails, slugs and their eggs continue to be dispersed between neighbourhoods and around British Columbia this way, or with garden refuse, soil, wood, rocks, and other materials.


Species Common Name BC List Status
Aegopinella nitidula Waxy Glass Snail Exotic
Allogona ptychophora Idaho Forestsnail Yellow
Allogona townsendiana Oregon Forestsnail Red
Ancotrema hybridum Oregon Lancetooth Yellow
Ancotrema sportella Beaded Lancetooth Yellow
Anguispira kochi Banded Tigersnail Blue
Ariolimax columbianus Pacific Bananaslug Yellow
Arion circumscriptus Brown-banded Arion Exotic
Arion distinctus Darkface Arion Exotic
Arion hortensis Garden Arion Exotic
Arion intermedius Hedgehog Arion Exotic
Arion rufus Chocolate Arion Exotic
Arion silvaticus Forest Arion Exotic
Arion subfuscus Dusky Arion Exotic
Bithynia tentaculata Mud Bithynia Exotic
Boettgerilla pallens Wormslug Exotic
Carychium minimum Herald Thorn Exotic
Carychium occidentale Western Thorn Blue
Catinella vermeta Suboval Ambersnail No Status
Cepaea nemoralis Grovesnail Exotic
Cochlicopa lubrica Glossy Pillar Yellow
Columella columella Mellow Column Yellow
Columella edentula Toothless Column Yellow
Cornu aspersum Brown Gardensnail Exotic
Cryptomastix devia Puget Oregonian Red
Cryptomastix germana Pygmy Oregonian Yellow
Cryptomastix mullani Coeur d'Alene Oregonian Blue
Deroceras hesperium Evening Fieldslug Red
Deroceras laeve Meadow Slug Yellow
Deroceras panormitanum Longneck Fieldslug Exotic
Deroceras reticulatum Gray Fieldslug Exotic
Discus rotundatus Rotund Disc Exotic
Discus shimekii Striate Disc Yellow
Discus whitneyi Forest Disc Yellow
Gastrocopta holzingeri Lambda Snaggletooth Blue
Haplotrema vancouverense Robust Lancetooth Yellow
Hemphillia camelus Pale Jumping-slug Blue
Hemphillia dromedarius Dromedary Jumping-slug Red
Hemphillia glandulosa Warty Jumping Slug Blue
Lauria cylindracea Chrysalis Snail Exotic
Lehmannia valentiana Threeband Gardenslug Exotic
Limacus flavus Yellow Gardenslug Exotic
Limax maximus Giant Gardenslug Exotic
Magnipelta mycophaga Magnum Mantleslug Blue
Microphysula cookei Vancouver Snail Yellow
Microphysula ingersolli Spruce Snail Yellow
Monadenia fidelis Pacific Sideband Blue
Nearctula sp. Threaded Vertigo Red
Nesovitrea binneyana Blue Glass Yellow
Nesovitrea electrina Amber Glass Yellow
Oreohelix strigosa Rocky Mountainsnail Blue
Oreohelix subrudis Subalpine Mountainsnail Blue
Oxychilus alliarius Garlic Glass-snail Exotic
Oxychilus cellarius Cellar Glass-snail Exotic
Oxychilus draparnaudi Dark-bodied Glass-snail Exotic
Oxyloma groenlandicum Ruddy Ambersnail No Status
Oxyloma hawkinsi Boundary Ambersnail No Status
Oxyloma nuttallianum Oblique Ambersnail No Status
Planogyra clappi Western Flat-whorl Yellow
Pristiloma arcticum Northern Tightcoil Blue
Pristiloma chersinella Black-foot Tightcoil Blue
Pristiloma johnsoni Broad-whorl Tightcoil Blue
Pristiloma lansingi Denticulate Tightcoil Yellow
Pristiloma stearnsi Striate Tightcoil Yellow
Prophysaon andersoni Reticulate Taildropper Yellow
Prophysaon coeruleum Blue-grey Taildropper Red
Prophysaon foliolatum Yellow-bordered Taildropper Yellow
Prophysaon vanattae Scarletback Taildropper Blue
Punctum randolphi Conical Spot Yellow
Pupilla hebes Crestless Column Blue
Striatura pugetensis Northwest Striate Yellow
Succinea oregonensis Oregon Ambersnail Yellow
Succinea rusticana Rustic Ambersnail Yellow
Succinea strigata Striate Ambersnail Yellow
Testacella haliotidea Earshell Slug Exotic
Vallonia cyclophorella Silky Vallonia Blue
Vallonia excentrica Iroquois Vallonia Exotic
Vallonia gracilicosta Multirib Vallonia Yellow
Vallonia pulchella Lovely Vallonia Exotic
Vertigo andrusiana Pacific Vertigo Red
Vertigo arthuri Callused Vertigo Blue
Vertigo binneyana Cylindrical Vertigo No Status
Vertigo columbiana Columbia Vertigo Yellow
Vertigo cristata Crested Vertigo Yellow
Vertigo elatior Tapered Vertigo Red
Vertigo gouldi Variable Vertigo Yellow
Vertigo modesta Cross Vertigo Yellow
Vertigo ovata Ovate Vertigo Yellow
Vespericola columbianus Northwest Hesperian Yellow
Vitrea contracta Contracted Glass-snail Exotic
Vitrina pellucida Western Glass-snail Yellow
Zonitoides arboreus Quick Gloss Yellow
Zonitoides nitidus Black Gloss Blue
Zoogenetes harpa Boreal Top Yellow


Forsyth, R. G. 2004. Land Snails of British Columbia. Royal B.C. Museum Handbook. Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum. iv, 188 pp., 8 col. pp.

Pilsbry, H. A. 1939. Land Mollusca of North America (north of Mexico), 1(1). The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Monographs 3: i-xvii + 1-573 + i-ix.

Pilsbry, H. A. 1940. Land Mollusca of North America (north of Mexico), 1(2). The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Monographs 3: viii + 994 + ix pp.

Pilsbry, H. A. 1946. Land Mollusca of North America (north of Mexico), 2(1). The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Monographs 3: frontis., i-vi, 1-520.

Pilsbry, H. A. 1948. Land Mollusca of North America (north of Mexico), 2(2). The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Monographs 3: i-xlvii + 521-1113 pp.


Cameron, R. 2003. Land snails in the British Isles. Field Studies Council, Occasional Publication 79: iv + 82 pp

Cameron, R. A. D., B. Eversham, & N. Jackson. 1983. A field key to the slugs of the British Isles. Field Studies 5: 807-824.

Kerney, M. P., & R. A. D. Cameron. 1979. A field guide to the land snails of Britain and north-west Europe. London: Collins. 288pp, 24 pls.


COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Dromedary Jumping-slug, Hemphillia dromedarius, in Canada.

COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Oregon Forestsnail, Allogona townsendiana, in Canada:.

COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Puget Oregonian snail, Cryptomastix devia, in Canada.

COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Warty Jumping-slug, Hemphillia glandulosa, in Canada.

Gastroclass: Gastropod classification.

Land Snails of British Columbia:

North American Land Snail Links:

Terrestrial Gastropods of the Columbia Basin, British Columbia:

Terrestrial Gastropods of the Peace River – Northern Rockies of British Columbia:

Terrestrial Gastropods of the Upper Fraser Basin of British Columbia:



Please cite these pages as:

Author, date, page title. In:   Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia []. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Date Accessed]

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