This is a guide to woodland land snails large enough that you might see them as you walk through the local hiking trails at many State parks or other trails and natural areas. Look at the trail’s edge or the hillside slope. On wetter days, you might see one cross a trail.
It is most likely you will see an abandoned shell. Examine it carefully for the important snail characteristics described next and use the descriptions of species to guide you. Fresh shells are best since, with weathering, some characteristics may be lost. As well, adult snails are better than juveniles. If you have a live snail, gently poke it to draw into the shell so you can look for “teeth”.
In many cases, an identification to an exact species will not be possible, but you can most likely get it to the genus – or type of snail. The snail you find may also not be one of those listed here. When done, please return the animal or its shell back to where you found it.
A 2-page (front/back printable pdf) trifold of this quick guide.