Xerolenta obvia

Family

Hygromiidae

Species

Xerolenta obvia (Menke, 1828)

Common Name

Heath snail

Description

This heath snail will attain a maximum height of 16 mm and a diameter of 22 mm, with 5-6 whorls. This opaque shell is very flattened for a helicid-shaped shell. The body whorl of this species turns downwards. The aperture (mouth) is oval in shape and is very thin and brittle, often incomplete in vacant shells as it generally breaks. The background color is white with dark brown spiral stripes. The most obvious and consistent stripe can be found at the periphery. Subsequent stripes may be faint, inconsistent and broken. The umbilicus is open and obvious. In some species the coiling of the shell when observed through the umbilicus may appear haphazard.

Native Range

Southeastern Europe

Distribution

North America:

  • U.S.: Michigan

Europe: England, Ireland, Germany, Bulgaria, Italy, Turkey

Ecology

This species is known to feed on fodder crops (e.g., alfalfa, clover, lupine, sanfion, seradella) in southern Germany. It is also a pest in Italy and Bulgaria where it is often intercepted in shipments of fruits and vegetables to other European countries. Xerolenta obvia is a vector of fungal pathogens (e.g., Alternaria sp. Fusarium sp., Phytophthora sp.). It also vectors the sheep and goat parasites, Protostrongylus rufescens, Davainea proglottina and Dicrocoelium dendriticum.

Synonyms

  • Helicella obvia (Menke, 1828)

References

Kerney et al. 1979; Robinson and Slapcinsky 2005

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