Oxychilus spp.

Family

Zonitidae

Species

Oxychilus alliarius (Miller, 1822)

O. cellarius (Muller, 1774)

Common Name

Oxychilus alliarius: Garlic glass-snail

O. cellarius: Cellar glass-snail

Description

Oxychilus alliarius: This species is approximate 3.4-4 mm high and 5-8 mm wide with 4-4 1/2 whorls. The shell is smooth, glossy and has wide umbilicus (navel). The shell is reddish brown and living animals emit a garlic odor when disturbed. The body color of the animal is blue-black.

Oxychilus cellarius: The narrowly umbilicate shell of this snail has a height of approximately 4.2 mm and a width of 9-14 mm. The nearly smooth shell is depressed and heliciform. As its common name suggests, the shell has a translucent pale yellow-brown color with the umbilicus being even paler and more opaque. The smooth, glossy umbilicus is approximately 1/6th the width of the shell and the shell has a total of 5 1/2-6 whorls. The entire body of the snail, including the tentacles, is grey, with the sides and the sole being paler. The pneumostome has small brown freckles around it. There is a groove that runs parallel to the edge of the foot. The groove on each side of the animal has a row of small brown specks running alongside it. Characteristically, this snail does not emit a garlic odor and its body is much paler than other species in the genus (Oxychilus).

These species may be confused with a similar species (Oxychilus draparnaudi) that is carnivorous. The cellar glass-snail (Oxychilus cellarius) shell is much larger than that of O. alliarius and smaller than that of O. draparnaudi. Also, the convex spire of O. cellarius is flatter than that of O. alliarius.

Native Range

Western Europe

Distribution

Oxychilus cellarius:

North America:

  • U. S.: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin

Australasia: New Zealand

Canada: Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario

Asia

North Africa

Europe

Oxychilus alliarius:

North America:

  • U.S.: Washington
  • Canada: British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario

Australasia: New Zealand

South America: Columbia

Asia

North Africa

Europe

Ecology

Oxychilus alliarius: This gregarious species can be found in humid habitats (e.g., meadows, cultivated areas, greenhouses). It consumes living and dead plant material as well as small snails and their eggs.

Oxychilus cellarius: This species prefer to live in association with human activities and can be found in parks, gardens, under rocks, rubbish, wood, cellars, plant material an around greenhouses. This animal can be found year round with peak breeding activities occurring in autumn and they may be found in abundance. They often produce small white eggs that are roughly 1.5 mm in diameter. In addition to vegetation, this species will feed on the eggs of other snails, slugs, and earthworms.

Synonyms

Oxychilus alliarius:

  • Helix alliarius Miller, 1822

Oxychilus cellarius:

  • Helix cellaria Muller, 1774, Hist. Verm., 2: 28 (wine cellars of Copenhagen).
  • Helix glaphyra Say, 1816 [Nicholson's] Amer. Edit. British Encycl., art Conchology, No. 5, pl. 1, fig. 3 (garden in Philadelphia).
  • Zonites cellarius Muller, Leidy, 1851, Terr. Moll., 1: 233, pl. 7, fig. 1; W. G. Binney, 1878, Terr. Moll., 5: 112, pl. 2, fig. G (teeth); 1885, Man. Amer. Land Sh., p. 448:, figs. 493, 494.
  • Oxychilus cellarius Muller, Ellis, 1926, British Snails, p. 245, pl. 12, figs. 10-12.
  • Oxychilus pulchro-striatum MacMillan, 1940, Amer. Midland Nat., 23: 731, figs. 2-4 (Duquesne Bluff, Pittsburg, Pa.)

References

Anderson 2005; Hutchinson and Heike 2007; Kerney et al. 1979; Meyer and Cowie 2010; Naggs et al. 2003

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