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Cepaea nemoralis (Linnaeus, 1758)
Banded Garden Snail; Brown-lipped Snail; Grovesnail
Family: Helicidae
Species account author: Robert Forsyth.


© Bryan Kelly-McArthur     (Photo ID #97999)


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Distribution of Cepaea nemoralis in British Columbia in British Columbia


This is a very common introduced snail in gardens in southern BC, with a few occurrences in northcentral BC. It feeds on plant matter as well as fungi. In Europe, this species takes three years to reach maturity. The colour and banding patterns of this species are highly variable.

Species Information


Distinguished from other BC snails of similar size by the combination of its rather brightly pigmented, frequently banded shell, having a purplish brown apertural lip and no umbilicus.


Medium-sized (maximum mature shell width, 20–25 mm); growth determinate; globose-heliciform; opaque. Whorls: ca 4½–5¼; regularly increasing in width but sometimes final portion of the last whorl a bit more rapidly expanded; spire whorls convex. Spire: low conic-domed; apex bluntly rounded. Suture: moderately impressed. Last whorl: descending at the aperture; constriction of whorl behind the palatal lip very slight; no apparent crest. Periphery: rounded, medial on the last whorl. Protoconch: smooth. Teleoconch sculpture: irregular, low, rounded wrinkle-like colabral riblets; and sparse, shallow malleation. Periostracum: varnish-like. Umbilicus: sealed by the baso-columellar lip. Aperture: rounded, height about equal to width. Peristome: incomplete. Apertural dentition: none. Palatal and baso-columellar lip: rather thick, straightened (in apertural view); appressed to the body whorl, not projecting. Peristome, viewed from side: prosocline, slightly arched. Parietal callus: glazed, transparent, inconspicuous or purplish brown. Colour (including periostracum): straw yellow, orange or brown, with 1–5 dark black-brown or chestnut brown spiral bands that may be fused together or entirely absent; frequently with darker colabral streaks at irregular intervals; shining; aperture showing bands within; lip generally purple-brown or sometimes paler, pinkish.


In gardens, parks, and vacant lots, along roadsides, and venturing into adjacent wooded areas.


Global Distribution

Native to Western and Central Europe. Widely introduced to North America. In Canada, in BC, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland.

BC Distribution

Common in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, eastern and southern Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands; in the Okanagan and Southern Interior. Scattered occurrences in northcentral BC, including at Quesnel, Smithers and Terrace.



Genus name derived from the Greek "cepaios", meaning "of a garden"; the gender is feminine. The species epithet is Latin, and means "belonging to a grove or woodland".

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
ExoticSNAExoticNot Listed

BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Notes

Recommended Reading

Forsyth, Robert G. 2004. Land Snails of British Columbia Handbook. Royal BC Museum, Victoria.

Additional Range and Status Information Links

General References