Minnesota Snails and Slugs

Class Gastropoda

Gastropoda (gastropods) is the class of invertebrates that includes sea, freshwater, and land snails, and sea and land slugs. It is a very large class, second only to insects in the number of known species, and the largest class in the phylum Molluska (Mollusks).

There are about 13,000 genera in 721 families of gastropods. This includes both still living (extant) gastropods and those known only from the fossil record. About 85,000 extant species have been described, but estimates put the total number at about 240,000. Snails are those species that have a shell large enough that the body can completely withdraw into it. Slugs are those species without a shell. Semi-slugs are those species with a shell too small to completely contain the body.

Gastropods are characterized by the following:

  • during development, the visceral mass rotates 180 degrees to one side (undergoes torsion), placing the anus more or less above but to one side of the head;
  • a muscular foot;
  • two or four sensory tentacles with eyes at the end or near the outer bases of the tentacles; and
  • a long, file-like tongue that can be extended greatly.

Orange-banded arion

Photo by Alfredo Colon



Recent Additions
Gray field slug

Gray field slug (Deroceras reticulatum), also known as milky slug, is a common, exotic, terrestrial, smooth land slug. It is native to northern Europe, North Africa, and the Atlantic islands. It was introduced into North America and now occurs across the continent. It is most common in southern Canada and northern United States. It can be a serious crop pest, but is not listed as invasive nationally or in Minnesota. It is usually found above ground but under stones or leaf litter in open areas, especially cultivated areas.

Gray field slug is stout, 1 to 2 long and white, cream, gray, or tan. When at rest, the body is contracted and the tentacles are retracted. When traveling, the body is stretched out, the tentacles are extended, and it exudes a clear mucus. When disturbed, it exudes white mucus over its entire body, leading to one of its common names, milky slug.

  gray field slug
  Photo by Alfredo Colon
Orange-banded arion

Orange-banded arion (Arion fasciatus) is a common, exotic, land slug. It is native to northern Europe and was introduced into North America during the colonial era. It has slowly spread from New England north to Quebec, south to North Carolina, and west to Minnesota. It is listed as invasive in Wisconsin, but not in Minnesota and not nationally. It is found in ground litter and on herbaceous plants in forests, wet meadows adjacent to streams, and open and cultivated areas, including old fields and gardens.

Orange-banded arion is 1¼ to 2 long and slender when extended, short and bell-shaped when contracted. It is grayish to yellowish-brown and is covered with rows of pale bumps, giving it a granular appearance. There are two lateral, dark, blurry, longitudinal stripes. The area just below each stripe is yellowish, and the area below that is whitish. The head and tentacles are black.

  orange-banded arion
  Photo by Alfredo Colon
Other Recent Additions











This list includes only gastropods that have been recorded in Minnesota, but not all of the gastropods found in Minnesota.

Profile Photo Video        
















































gray field slug



























red raspberry slime mold


acute bladder snail (Physa acuta)


amber glass (Nesovitrea electrina)


angular disc (Discus catskillensis)


banded mysterysnail (Viviparus georgianus)


bellmouth rams-horn (Planorbella campanulata)


black striate (Striatura ferrea)


blade vertigo (Vertigo milium)


blue glass (Nesovitrea binneyana)


bluff vertigo (Vertigo meramecensis)


blunt ambersnail (Oxyloma retusum)


bottleneck snaggletooth (Gastrocopta contracta)


Briarton pleistocene vertigo (Vertigo briarensis)


broad-banded forestsnail (Allogona profunda)


brown-banded arion (Arion circumscriptus)


callused vertigo (Vertigo arthuri)


cherrystone drop (Hendersonia occulta)


Chinese mystery snail (Cipangopaludina chinensis)


chrysalis snail (Pupilla hudsoniana)


comb snaggletooth (Gastrocopta pentodon)


common whorl snail (Vertigo pygmaea)


compound coil (Helicodiscus parallelus)


corpulent rams-horn (Planorbella corpulenta)


crested vertigo (Vertigo cristata)


deep-throat vertigo (Vertigo nylanderi)


delicate vertigo (Vertigo bollesiana)


disc gyro (Gyraulus circumstriatus)


dull gloss (Zonitoides limatulus)


dusky slug (Arion subfuscus)


eastern flat-whorl (Planogyra asteriscus)


eastern glass snail (Vitrina angelicae)


eightfold pinecone (Strobilops affinis)


fine-ribbed striate (Striatura milium)


flamed disc (Anguispira alternata)


forest disc (Discus whitneyi)


glass spot (Punctum vitreum)


grassland whorl snail (Vertigo ovata)

Profile Photo Video  

gray field slug (Deroceras reticulatum)


Great Lakes snaggletooth (Gastrocopta similis)


great pond snail (Lymnaea stagnalis)


greenhouse slug (Milax gagates)


high-spire column (Columella simplex)


ice thorn (Carychium exile)


Iowa pleistocene ambersnail (Novasuccinea n. Sp. minnesota b)


lambda snaggletooth (Gastrocopta holzingeri)


lance aplexa (Aplexa elongata)


mammoth lymnaea (Bulimnaea megasoma)


marsh pondsnail (Stagnicola elodes)


marsh rams-horn (Planorbella trivolvis)


marsh slug (Deroceras laeve)


maze pinecone (Strobilops labyrinthicus)


midwest pleistocene vertigo (Vertigo hubrichti hubrichti)


Minnesota pleistocene ambersnail (Novasuccinea n. sp. minnesota a)


minute gem (Hawaiia minuscula)


moss chrysalis snail (Pupilla muscorum)


multirib vallonia (Vallonia gracilicosta)


mystery vertigo (Vertigo paradoxa)


obese thorn (Carychium exiguum)


occult vertigo (Vertigo occulta)

Profile Photo Video  

orange-banded arion (Arion fasciatus)


oval ambersnail (Novisuccinea ovalis)


plains snaggletooth (Gastrocopta abbreviata)


pleistocene catinella (Catinella exile)


pondsnail (Stagnicola reflexa)


quick gloss snail (Zonitoides arboreus)


ribbed grass snail (Vallonia costata)


ribbed striate (Striatura exigua)


Rogers’ snaggletooth snail (Gastrocopta rogersensis)


sharp hornsnail (Pleurocera acuta)


sharp sprite (Promenetus exacuous)


shiny glass snail (Zonitoides nitidus)


shiny hive (Euconulus alderi)


six-whorl vertigo (Vertigo morsei)


slippery moss snail (Cochlicopa lubrica)


small spot (Punctum minutissimum)


smooth grass snail (Vallonia pulchella)


southern flatcoil (Polygyra cereolus)


spindle lymnaea (Acella haldemani)


striped whitelip (Webbhelix multilineata)


suboval ambersnail (Catinella avara)


tapered vertigo (Vertigo elatior)


tawny glass snail (Euconulus fulvus)


thicklip rams-horn (Planorbula armigera)


thin pillar snail (Cochlicopu lubricella)


thin-lip vallonia (Vallonia perspectiva)


trumpet vallonia (Vallonia parvula)


two-ridged rams-horn (Helisoma anceps)


umbilicate sprite (Promenetus umbilicatellus)


variable pleistocene vertigo (Vertigo hubrichti variabilis n. subsp.)


variable vertigo (Vertigo gouldii)


white snaggletooth (Gastrocopta tappaniana)


whitelip (Neohelix albolabris)





No Species Page Yet?

If you do not see a linked page for an amphibian in the list at left you can still upload a photo or video as an email attachment or report a sighting for that amphibian. Click on one of the buttons below and type in the common name and/or scientific name of the amphibian in your photo, video, or sighting. A new page will be created for that amphibian featuring your contribution.

These buttons not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.








Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2020 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.