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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Brown Hive - Euconulus fulvus
Other Names:  Helix fulva, Zonites fulvus, Conulus fulvus, Euconulus trochiformis

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

Agency Status

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General Description
A small shell slightly wider than tall, to 3.5 mm diameter and 2.5 mm in height, beehive-shaped or conical heliciform, with up to 5 1/2 whorls. Shell is translucent brown to dark brown, with very fine axial threads and spiral striae requiring magnification to see; periphery is rounded or slightly angular. Aperture is crescent-shaped, umbilicus extremely tiny or absent. The tail is gray, head and tentacles are dark, and the mantle has large dark patches visible through the last whorl of the shell (Hendricks 2012, Burke 2013). Internal anatomy is described by Pilsbry (1946).

E. f. alaskensis is a possible subspecies.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Combination of small size, very narrow to absent umbilicus, tight coiling, lack of reflected lip, no teeth in aperture, brown color, and height of shell equal to diameter (bee-hive shaped) distinguish this species from all others.

Species Range
Montana Range


Range Comments
Circumboreal-circumtemperate, south to North Africa and in North America to Sinaloa, Mexico. In Montana, reported from 27 counties across the state on both sides of the Continental Divide. Elevation range is 655 to 2518 m (2150 to 8260 ft). May be abundant locally; 40 were found at one site in Flathead County in late August (Hendricks 2012).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 314

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Predicted Distribution in Montana
Predicted distribution model for Brown Hive (Euconulus fulvus). Records were spatially unique and had a locational uncertainty of ≤ 400 meters.  Hotter colors indicate areas that are predicted to have more suitable habitat for the species.  Black dots are positive data used to build the model.  Gray dots are locations where a survey capable of detecting the species has been performed.  Landownership, a shaded relief map, and county lines are included for reference.  Details of the modeling effort, a description of the environmental layers used, and a more thorough interpretation of model outputs can be found in the report Land Mollusk Surveys and Predicted Distribution Models on USFS Northern Region Lands: 2007.

Predicted Distribution Map

More model output for this species
A wide range of habitats, from wet forest and riparian areas to dry grassy sites and isolated aspen pockets. Tree canopy species include western redcedar, western hemlock, grand fir, Douglas-fir, Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir, black cottonwood, western larch, lodgepole pine, whitebark pine and aspen; secondary canopy includes alder, willow, dogwood and paper birch. Found under woody debris and rocks in leaf litter and duff (Forsyth 2004, Hendricks 2012).

Has been observed as a victim of attack by snail-eating ground beetles (Scaphinotus).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • 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.
    • Pilsbry, H.A. 1946. Land Mollusca of North America (north of Mexico), Volume II Part 1. Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia Monograph Number 3 (2):1-520.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • Beetle, D.E. 1989. Checklist of recent Mollusca of Wyoming, U.S.A. The Great Basin Naturalist 49(4):637-645.
    • Berry, S.S. 1913. A list of Mollusca from the Mussellshell Valley, Montana. Nautilus 26:130-131.
    • Berry, S.S. 1916. Notes of Mollusca of central Montana. Nautilus 29:124-128.
    • Berry, S.S. 1919. Mollusca of Glacier National Park, Montana. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 71:195-205.
    • Elrod, M.J. 1902. Daphnia pond, a study in environment. University of Montana Bulletin #16, Biological Series 5: 230-233.
    • Frest, T.J. and E.J. Johannes. 2001. An annotated checklist of Idaho land and freshwater mollusks. Journal of the Idaho Academy of Science 36(2):1-51.
    • Russell, R.H. and R.B. Brunson. 1967. A check-list of molluscs of Glacier National Park, Montana. Sterkiana 26:1-5.
    • Squyer, H. 1894. List of shells from the vicinity of Mingusville, Montana. The Nautilus 8:63-65.
    • Vanatta, E.G. 1914. Montana shells. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 66:367-371.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Brown Hive"
  • Additional Sources of Information Related to "Snails / Slugs"
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Citation for data on this website:
Brown Hive — Euconulus fulvus.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from