Monacha spp.




Monacha cantiana (Montagu, 1803)

M. cartusiana (Muller, 1774)

M. syriaca (Ehrenberg, 1831)

Common Name

Monacha cantiana: Kentish snail, Kentish garden snail

Monacha cartusiana: Carthusian snail, Chartreuse snail

Monacha syriaca: None reported


Monacha cantiana: The medium sized shell of this snail is 10.5 to 14 mm high and 15.5 to 20 mm wide with 5 1/2 - 6 whorls. The shell has a narrow umbilicus (navel-like opening at the base of the shell), is globosely depressed, and slightly transparent. The top of the shell is somewhat whitish in color and becomes progressively brownish toward the base. This thin shell is glossy in appearance and possess fine, weak, irregular lines and courser growth wrinkles. The aperture of the shell is broadly lunate while the lip is slightly expanded and shortly dilated at the columellar insertion. A narrow white or brown rib strengthens this insertion.

Monacha cartusiana: This species is smaller than C. cantiana. It has a shell that is approximately 6-10 mm high and 9-17 mm wide with 5.5-6.5 whorls. The shell is pale white or pale yellow in color and may have brown stripes. The aperture of the shell may be darker than the rest of the body.

Monacha syriaca: The shell of this species is 7-9 mm high and 8-13.5 mm wide, with 4.5-5.5 whorls. The brown shell has a white spiral stripe and a white lip. The apertural lip (mouth) may be red-brown and the umbilicus (navel) is closed. The body of the animal is tan to pale yellow with brown antennae.

Native Range

M. cantiana: Mediterranean region and Northwestern Europe

M. cartusiana: Mediterranean region and Southeastern Europe

M. syriaca: Mediterranean region


North America:

  • U.S.: Delaware (M. cartusiana), North Carolina (M. syriaca)
  • Canada: Quebec, Ontario

Europe: Netherlands, West Germany, France, England


This group of snails prefers dry, grassy areas (e.g. road sides, pastures). Monacha cartusiana is an intermediate host for livestock parasites including that of the sheep lungworm disease. Monacha syriaca is a pest of ornamental plants in shade houses in Israel (e.g., Butcher's broom/ horse-tongue (Ruscus hypoglossum), cast-iron plant (Apidistra elatior). Both plant species are used in gardens elsewhere.


Monacha cantiana:

  • Helix cantiana Montagu, 1803, Testace Britannica p. 422, Suppl. Pl. 23, fig. 1.; F. R. Latchford, 1885, Amer. Nat. 19: 1111.; A. W. Hanham, 1896, Nautilus, 10: 99.
  • Fruticicola cantiana Montagu, W. G. Binney, 1886. 2nd Suppl. Terr. Moll., Bull. Mus.Comp. Zool., 13: 23, pl. 1, fig. 13.
  • Helix cantiana var. minor Moq., Cockerell, 1889, Nautilus 3: 87.
  • Theba cantiana (Montagu) , Taylor, 1917, Monogr. L. & Freshw. Moll. Brit. Is., pt. 23, p. 78.

Monacha cartusiana:

  • Helix cartusiana Muller, 1774

Monacha syriaca:

  • Helix syriaca (Ehrenberg, 1831)


Anderson 2005; Kantor et al. 2009; Kerney et al. 1979; Pislbry 1939; Robinson 1999; Robinson and Slapcinsky 2005

Posted on