Family Pupillidae - Pupillid Snails

The family Pupillidae once was considered to include these genera: Columella, Gastrocopta, Pupilla, Pupoides, and Vertigo. Today only Pupilla and Pupoides remain, with the other three placed into the Family Vertiginidae (Hotopp et al 2013). All of these are small taller-than-wide, pupa-shaped snails.- more like a cocoon. Some taper, more or less, at the apex. Apertural teeth vary greatly and the lip is usually but not always reflected (Columella for example).

Only 2 Pupillidae are found in Indiana - the more common White-lip Dagger and the rare Widespread Column Snail.

Pupoides albilabris (C. B. Adams, 1841)

Pupoides albilabris (C. B. Adams, 1841)

White-lip Dagger
Pupoides albilabris (C. B. Adams, 1841)

The White-lip Dagger is an elongate “pupa” shaped snail, about ¼ inch tall. The lip is thick, wide, and reflected – there are no teeth. It is not easily confused with other pupa-shaped snails.

Habitat: It can be found in woodlands under woody and leafy debris as wells open pastures or old fields, rocky open country or outcrops.

Status: ​In Indiana, it has been found in all but the northeast part of the state.

Widespread Column Snail
Pupilla muscorum (Linnaeus, 1758)

Its shell is relatively large (> 3.5 mm tall), dark reddish-brown in color, and more columnar than conical in shape.

Habitat:  CMNH summarized its habitats as “generally limited to human-disturbed habitats such as road verges, vacant lots, abandoned quarries, old fields, and concrete culverts”, citing Hulbricht 1985.

Status: The Widespread Column Snail has been identified in only one county. It might have been missed in others or misidentified. It has been collected in the surrounding states and there is nothing about its habits that would eliminate it from Indiana.