Brown garden snail
Common names: Brown garden snail, European garden snail
Scientific name: Cornu aspersum (formerly named Helix aspersa)
Counties in California where collected: 26 counties: Alameda, Butte, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Fresno, Humboldt, Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Marin, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Sonoma and Ventura. Santa Catalina, San Nicolas, and San Clemente Islands (Roth and Sadeghian, 2006).
Ecology: This snail feeds on both living and dead plants and is found in nurseries, garden centers, citrus groves, home gardens and a range of other anthropogenic areas (Forsyth, 2004; Grimm, 2009). It is a known pest. It was probably first introduced to California in the 1850 as a source of food. In fact, the brown garden snail is a highly prized food item in Europe particularly in the Mediterranean region (Barker, 1999). This snail will estivate on poles, fence posts, tree trunks, and other objects during hot and dry periods.
Description: Shell up to 40mm (1.6") wide, wrinkled and with brown spiral bands that have paler markings. In California the flesh of the snail is yellowish brown to darkish gray. The opening of the shell is large, round and has a white lip (Barker, 1999)