Escargot de Quimper

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Escargot de Quimper
Scientific classification

E. quimperiana
Binomial name
Elona quimperiana
(Férussac, 1821)[3]

Helix quimperiana Férussac, 1821

Elona quimperiana, common name the escargot de Quimper ("Quimper snail"), is a species of air-breathing land snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Elonidae.

Elona is a monotypic genus, i.e. it contains only one species, Elona quimperiana. The specific name comes from the city of Quimper in Brittany, France.[4]

This snail is mentioned in annexes II and IV of the Habitats Directive.

Original description[edit]

Elona quimperiana was originally described (under the name Helix quimperiana) by André Étienne d'Audebert de Férussac in 1821.[3]

Férussac's original text (the type description) reads in the French language as follows:

QUIMPERINA, nobis. pl. fig.

α) Nobis. pl. LXXVI (par erreur LXVI), fig. 2.

Habit. Les bords de Briec l'Odet, près Quimper en Bretagne. Elle a été découverte par Mrs De Kermovan et Bonnemaison; Comm. Desmarest.

Which means in English:

"Habitat: Margin of Briec (Briec-de-l'Odet) near Quimper in Brittany. It was found by Messieurs De Kermovan and Bonnemaison."

Shell description[edit]

The shell is umbilicate and planorboid in shape. The spire is slightly concave. The periphery is broadly rounded, corneous with a few varicoid white stripes.[5] The shell has five or six whorls.[6]

The aperture is lunar and slightly oblique. The lip is white, expanded above, reflexed below, with the ends distant.[5]

The width of the shell is 20–30 mm. The height of the shell is 10–12 mm.[6]


1856 drawing of a part of reproductive system showing dart sac (p), club shaped mucous glands (g) and a part of vagina (m).
Right side view of Elona quimperiana.

The jaw has 11-16 narrow ribs.[5]

The anatomy of Elona quimperiana was described in detail by Alfred Moquin-Tandon already in 1855-1856[7] and later by Gittenberger (1979).[8]

Reproductive system: the genitalia have club-shaped mucous glands, in other words, the mucous glands are shortened into somewhat rounded triangular sacks. Mucous glands shaped like this are unusual in the Helicoidea, but are typical of the Elonidae. The dart sack is inserted in a sort of calyx at base. The love dart is curved at the end, with lens-like section.[5] (Drawing of reproductive system by Gittenberger 1979.)


This species is found in France and Spain.

The Lusitanian snail Elona quimperiana has a remarkably disjunct distribution, limited to northwestern France (Brittany), northwestern Spain and the Basque Country.[4]


This species lives in temperate and humid deciduous forests.[4]

Life cycle[edit]

Like other pulmonates, snails and slugs, the Quimper snail is hermaphrodite. Sexual maturity is reached at about two years of age. Mating takes place at mid-season and laying, usually underground, is deposited in tiny natural tunnels of the soil. There are two annual breeding periods in Brittany, with hatching occurring in the spring (April–May) and in the fall (September–October).[9]

Feeding habits[edit]

This species of snail feeds on mycelia found on rotten, dead stumps (principally oak). Occasionally, it is coprophagous and necrophagous. Like many other terrestrial gastropods, Elona quimperiana has a relatively limited dispersal capacity and probably survived during the Quaternary glaciations through significant fluctuations in its distribution area, just as its deciduous forest habitat did.[4]

See also[edit]

A closely related species is Norelona pyrenaica (Draparnaud, 1805) - synonym: Elona pyrenaica (Draparnaud, 1805).


This article incorporates CC-BY-2.0 text (but not under GFDL) from reference [4] and a public domain text from references.[3][5]

  1. ^ Gómez Moliner, B.J.; Seddon, M.B. (2017). "Elona quimperiana". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T7658A85564390. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T7658A85564390.en. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  2. ^ Adams H. & Adams A. (1858). The genera of recent Mollusca; arranged according to their organization. In three volumes. Vol. II., pp. [1-3], 1-661. London. (Van Voorst).
  3. ^ a b c (in French) Férussac A. E. J. P. J. F. d'Audebard de ([1821-1822]). Tableaux systématiques des animaux mollusques classés en familles naturelles, dans lesquels on a établi la concordance de tous les systèmes; suivis d'un prodrome général pour tous les mollusques terrestres ou fluviatiles, vivants ou fossiles. pp. j-xlvij [= 1-47], [1], 1-110, [1]. Paris, Londres. (Bertrand, Sowerby). Description on page 39.
  4. ^ a b c d e Vialatte A., Guiller A., Bellido A. & Madec L. (2008). "Phylogeography and historical demography of the Lusitanian snail Elona quimperiana reveal survival in unexpected separate glacial refugia". BMC Evolutionary Biology 2008, 8:339. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-8-339.
  5. ^ a b c d e Tryon G. W. (1894). Manual of Conchology, structural and systematic, with illustrations of the species. Second series: Pulmonata. Volume 9. Helicidae - Volume VII. Continued by H. A. Pilsbry, page 307-308.
  6. ^ a b (in German) Kerney M.P., Cameron R.A.D. & Jungbluth J.H. (1983). Die Landschnecken Nord- und Mitteleuropas. Hamburg/Berlin, 384 pp., page 242-243.
  7. ^ (in French) Moquin-Tandon A. (1855-1856). Histoire naturelle des mollusques terrestres et fluviatiles de France, contenant des études générales sur leur anatomie et leur physiologie et la description particulière des genres, des espèces et des variétés. Volume 2 (4-5), 368 pp., J.-B. Baillière, Paris. Elona quimperiana at pages 129-131. plate XI, figure 9-14, description of plate XI.
  8. ^ Gittenberger E. (1979). On Elona (Pulmonata, Eloniadae fam. nov.) Malacologia Volume 18, 1-2, Sixth European Malacological Congress, Amsterdam, 139-145.
  9. ^ Daguzan, J. & Gloaguen, JC (1986). "Contribution to the ecology of Elona quimperiana (de Férussac) (Gastropod Pulmonate Stylommatophore) in western Brittany". Haliotis. 15: 17–30.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

Further reading[edit]

  • (in French) Daguzan J. & Gloaquen J. C. (1986). "Contribution à l'écologie d'Elona quimperiana (de Férussac) (Gastéropode Pulmoné Stylommathophore) en Bretagne occidentale". Haliotis 15: 17-30.

External links[edit]