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Three views of a shell of Helminthoglypta tudiculata taken from W. G. Binney, 1878[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Heterobranchia
clade Euthyneura
clade Panpulmonata
clade Eupulmonata
clade Stylommatophora
informal group Sigmurethra
Superfamily: Helicoidea
Family: Helminthoglyptidae
Pilsbry, 1939

See text

The Helminthoglyptidae are a family of air-breathing land snails, terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusks in the superfamily Helicoidea.

This is a large and diverse group of new world snails, ranging in distribution from Alaska through North America to the West Indies, Central America, and as far south as Argentina.

The shells are typically of medium to large size, with no apertural teeth but usually with a reflected apertural lip.


In the species in this family, the diverticulum may be present or absent. They possess a single dart appartus with one stylophore (dart sac) and two mucus glands. These snails use the love dart as part of their mating behavior.

In this family, the number of haploid chromosomes lies between 26 and 30 (according to the values in this table).[2]


The basic nomenclature and taxonomy of this large and complex family of land snails has been the subject of many modifications, and the list of genera given here is applicable only when the family is broadly interpreted. Many of these snail genera have been placed by various authors in more restrictively defined families, such as: Cepolidae, Epiphragmophoridae, Humboldtianidae, Monadeniidae, and Xanthonychidae.[3][4][5][6]

Subfamilies in the family Helminthoglyptidae include (according taxonomy of the Gastropoda by Bouchet & Rocroi, 2005):

Subfamily Helminthoglyptinae Pilsbry, 1939

  • tribe Helminthoglyptini Pilsbry, 1939
    • subtribe Helminthoglyptina Pilsbry, 1939: the mucus glands lie adjacent to the vagina or to the sheath of the dart apparatus; the ducts of the glands are provided with bulbous reservoirs.[citation needed]
    • subtribe Micrariontina Schileyko, 1991: the mucus glands lie adjacent to the dart sac; in part the dart apparatus is missing.
  • tribe Sonorelicini Roth, 1996

Subfamily Sonorellinae Pilsbry, 1939: the diverticulum and the dart apparatus are absent.


Genera within the family Helminthoglyptidae include:


tribe Helminthoglyptini, subtribe Helminthoglyptina

tribe Helminthoglyptini, subtribe Micrariontina

  • Micrarionta Ancey, 1880 - type genus of the subtribe Micrariontina[7]

tribe Sonorelicini

  • Sonorelix Berry, 1943 - type genus of the tribe Sonorelicini[7]


  • Sonorella Pilsbry, 1900 - type genus of the subfamily Sonorellinae[7]

subfamily ?[8][9][10]


  1. ^ Binney, William G. (1878). The Terrestrial Air-Breathing Mollusks of the United States and Adjacent Territories of North America. Vol. 5 (plates). Bull. Mus. Comparative Zool., Harvard. Plate 16.
  2. ^ Barker G. M.: Gastropods on Land: Phylogeny, Diversity and Adaptive Morphology. in Barker G. M. (ed.): The biology of terrestrial molluscs. CABI Publishing, Oxon, UK, 2001, ISBN 0-85199-318-4. 1-146, cited pages: 139 and 142.
  3. ^ Burch, John B. (1962). How to know the Eastern Land Snails. Wm. C. Brown Co.: Dubuque IA, 214 pp.
  4. ^ Hubricht, Leslie. (1985). The distribution of the native land molluscs of the eastern United States. Fieldiana Zool. 24: 1-191.
  5. ^ Pilsbry, Henry A. 1939. Land Mollusca of North America (North of Mexico). Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, Monograph 3, vol. 1(1): 1-573.
  6. ^ Bouchet, P.; Rocroi, J.-P. (Ed.); Frýda, J.; Hausdorf, B.; Ponder, W.; Valdes, A.; Warén, A. (2005). Classification and nomenclature of gastropod families. Malacologia: International Journal of Malacology, 47(1-2).
  7. ^ a b c d Bouchet P., Rocroi J.-P., Frýda J., Hausdorf B., Ponder W., Valdés Á. & Warén A. (2005). "Classification and nomenclator of gastropod families". Malacologia: International Journal of Malacology (Hackenheim, Germany: ConchBooks) 47 (1-2): 1–397. ISBN 3-925919-72-4. ISSN 0076-2997. 
  8. ^ [1] Helminthoglyptidae at ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System); accessed 17 Apr. 2008.
  9. ^ [2] Helminthoglyptidae at Discover Life; accessed 17 Apr. 2008.
  10. ^ [3] "BioLib" biological library; accessed 17 Apr. 2008.

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