|shell of Helicella itala|
informal group Sigmurethra
Helicella itala is a species of medium-sized, air-breathing land snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Hygromiidae, the hairy snails and their allies. The common Heath snail is a West Palearctic species found in the British Isles, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and Poland. It is now also widely distributed in Australia (first found in Australia in 1891).In English it is known as the Heath snail.
The size of the egg is 1.5 mm.
This species of snail makes and uses love darts during mating.
The 12-20 mm. shell is broad and very depressed with an open coil forming a convex, low spire. The umbilicus is very wide. The whorls are slightly convex and have shallow sutures. The aperture is elliptical and lacks an internal rib. The surface (periostracum) is white or pale yellow-brown and dark brown or yellow-brown spiral bands and fine irregular growth ridges.
The animals live on dry, exposed habitats, such as roadsides and railway embankments, vegetated sand dunes and rock boulders and short grassland. They rise up to 2000 m above sea level in the Alps and Pyrenees.
- Helicella itala at Animalbase taxonomy, short description, distribution, biology,status (threats), images
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