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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Lovely Vallonia - Vallonia pulchella
Other Names:  Helix pulchella, Helix minuta, Vallonia minuta


Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR

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General Description
A small shell, to about 2.5 mm diameter and 1.2 mm in height, flattened heliciform with fine incremental striae and occasional low wrinkles (not ribbed), about 3 to 3 1/2 whorls, not descending to the aperture. Shell coloration is translucent shiny white. Aperture lip thickened with a rib-like callus, lip flared abruptly outward; umbilicus about 1/4 the shell diameter. Animal is white (Hendricks 2012, Burke 2013). Internal anatomy is described by Watson (1920).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Combination of small size (< 3.5 mm diameter), flattened heliciform shape, flared lip, and color (translucent white to pale brown) separate Vallonia from other shells. A thickend lip distinguish V. pulchella and V. gracilicosta from V. cyclophorella and V. perspectiva. V. pulchella has occasional low wrinkles but is unribbed and shiny while V. gracilicosta has widely-spaced axial ribs.

Species Range
Montana Range

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Range Comments
Native to Europe, North Africa and northern Asia, and northern and central North America; apparently introduced across many areas of western North America (Burke 2013). In Montana, reported on both sides of the Continental Divide from five counties: Flathead, Lake, Missoula, Ravalli, Stillwater. Elevation range is 930 to 1588 m (3050 to 5210 ft). May be locally common; 18 live specimens were found at one Ravalli County site in early April (Hendricks 2012). Range and abundance in Montana poorly documented; current status needs investigation.

Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations: 8

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Relative Density

Recency

 

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Habitat
Inhabits disturbed areas, such as gardens, parks and roadsides, often near moisture. Canopy species include Douglas-fir, ponderosa pine, black cottonwood, lodgepole pine, Engelmann spruce; secondary canopy includes alder and willow. Found under woody debris and rocks, and in leaf litter and duff (Beetle 1961, 1989; Forsyth 2004; Hendricks 2012). Habitat in Montana poorly documented.

References
  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Beetle, D. E. 1961. Mollusca of the Big Horn Mountains. The Nautilus 74:95-102.
    • Beetle, D.E. 1989. Checklist of recent Mollusca of Wyoming, U.S.A. The Great Basin Naturalist 49(4):637-645.
    • Burke, T. E. 2013. Land snails and slugs of the Pacific Northwest. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press. 344 p.
    • Forsyth, R.G. 2004. Land snails of British Columbia. Royal British Columbia Museum: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. 188 pp.
    • Hendricks, P. 2012. A Guide to the Land Snails and Slugs of Montana. A report to the U.S. Forest Service - Region 1. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT. vii + 187 pp. plus appendices.
    • Watson, H. 1920. The affinities of Pyramidula, Patulastra, Acanthinula, and Vallonia. Proceedings of the Malacological Society 14:6-30.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • Henderson, J. 1936. Mollusca of Colorado, Utah, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, supplement. University of Colorado Studies 23(2): 81-145.
    • Hendricks, P. 2009. Terrestrial mollusk surveys in Glacier National Park during 2008, including an illustrated key to all documented species. Helena, Mont: Montana Natural Heritage Program.
    • Pilsbry, H.A. 1948. Land Mollusca of North America (north of Mexico), Volume II Part 2. The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia Monograph Number 2(2): 521-1113.
    • Squyer, H. 1894. List of shells from the vicinity of Mingusville, Montana. The Nautilus 8:63-65.
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Citation for data on this website:
Lovely Vallonia — Vallonia pulchella.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from