Normal (left) and scalarid (right) individuals of Cepaea nemoralis, photographed by Gudrun Ruf.

Belongs within: Helicoidei.
Contains: Helix.

The Helicinae is a group of snails native to the western Palaearctic, though several species have become distributed around the world through human transportation. Perhaps the best known such species is the garden snail Cornu aspersum, a large species with a globose brown shell patterned with lighter speckles and spiral bands. The white Italian snail Theba pisana is another widespread invasive species (particularly in hotter, drier habitats) with a white shell that may or may not be marked with spiral brown lines.

<==Helicinae [Belogona, Paurotaenia, Paurotaeniae, Siphonadenia]
    |  i. s.: Cornu Born 1788 [incl. Cantareus Risso 1826, Cryptomphalus de Charpentier 1837] SS10
    |           `--*C. aspersum (Müller 1774) SS10 (see below for synonymy)
    |         Eobania Hesse 1913 C84, SS10
    |           `--*E. vermiculata (Müller 1774) [=Helix vermiculata] SS10
    |         Pseudotachea splendida C84
    |         Alabastrina alabastrites C84
    |         Levantina C84
    |           |--L. caesareana C84
    |           `--L. hierosolyma H84
    |--Otala Schumacher 1817 BR05 [Otalini BR17]
    |    |--*O. lactea (Müller 1774) [=Helix lactea] BR17
    |    |--O. punctata C84
    |    `--O. vermiculata C63
    |--Allognathini [Allognathidae] BR17
    |    |--Allognathus Pilsbry 1888 BR05
    |    |    `--*A. grateloupi (Graëlls 1846) [=Helix grateloupi] BR17
    |    `--Lampadia Albers 1854 [=Mitra Albers 1850 non Lamarck 1798; Lampadiini] BR17
    |         `--*L. webbiana (Lowe 1831) [=Helix webbiana, *Mitra webbiana] BR17
    |--Thebini BR05
    |    |--‘Euparypha’ Hartmann 1843 (nom. rej.) [Euparyphinae, Euparyphini] BR05
    |    |    |--*E. rhodostoma (Draparnaud 1801) [=Helix rhodostoma] BR17
    |    |    `--E. areolata [=Helix (Euparypha) areolata] C64
    |    `--Theba Risso 1826 SS10 (see below for synonymy)
    |         |--*T. pisana (Müller 1774) SS10 (see below for synonymy)
    |         `--‘Helix’ albella Linnaeus 1758 BR05 [=*Jacosta albella BR17, *Leucochroa albella BR17]
    `--Helicini BR05
         |--Helix BR05
         |--Creneatachea Zilch 1960 [incl. Crenea Albers 1850 non Risso 1826, Crena (l. c.); Crenae, Creneini] BR17
         |    `--*C. obtusecarinata (Sandberger 1858) [=Helix obtusecarinata] BR17
         |--Metachloraea Pfeffer 1930 [Metachloraeae, Metachloraeini] BR05
         |    `--*M. oxystoma (Thomä 1845) [=Helix oxystoma] BR17
         `--Cepaea Held 1837 [Cepaeae, Cepaeini] BR05
              |--*C. nemoralis (Linnaeus 1758) BR17 (see below for synonymy)
              |    |--C. n. nemoralis S84
              |    `--C. n. apennina S84
              |--C. concudensis E99
              |--C. hortensis (Müller 1774) HM07 (see below for synonymy)
              |--C. moroguesi E99
              |--C. silvana E99
              |--C. subsulcosa E99
              `--C. vindobonensis (Férussac 1821) HM07

Cepaea hortensis (Müller 1774) HM07 [=Helix (Acavus) hortensis G40, H. nemoralis var. hortensis A79, Tachea hortensis C83; incl. Cochlea fasciata G40]

*Cepaea nemoralis (Linnaeus 1758) BR17 [=Helix nemoralis BR17, H. (Acavus) nemoralis G40, Tachea nemoralis G40; incl. H. cincta G40, H. qunquefasciata G40, H. turturum G40, Cochlea versicolor G40]

*Cornu aspersum (Müller 1774) SS10 [=Helix aspersa C84, Cantareus aspersus WFS04, Cryptomphalus aspersus S84, Helix (Acavus) aspersa G40; incl. Serpula cornucopia G40, H. aspersa var. exalbida H79, Cornucopia helicina G40, Serpula helicina G40, Cornucopia monstrosa G40, Cochlea vulgaris G40]

Theba Risso 1826 SS10 [=Xerophila Held 1837 (nom. rej.) BR05; incl. Jacosta Gray 1821 (nom. rej.) BR05, Leucochroa Beck 1837 BR05; Jacostidae, Leucochroea, Leucochroidae, Leucochroinae, Thebinae, Xerophilidae, Xerophilinae]

*Theba pisana (Müller 1774) SS10 [=Helix pisana SS10, H. (Heliomanes) pisana G40, *Xerophila pisana BR17; incl. H. multilineata var. albina W79, G40, H. cingenda G40, Teba cingenda G40, H. petholata G40]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A79] Ashford, C. 1879. Land and freshwater shells observed in the neighborhood of Redcar. Journal of Conchology 2: 236–241.

[BR05] Bouchet, P., & J.-P. Rocroi. 2005. Classification and nomenclator of gastropod families. Malacologia 47 (1–2): 1–397.

[BR17] Bouchet, P., J.-P. Rocroi, B. Hausdorf, A. Kaim, Y. Kano, A. Nützel, P. Parkhaev, M. Schrödl & E. E. Strong. 2017. Revised classification, nomenclator and typification of gastropod and monoplacophoran families. Malacologia 61 (1–2): 1–526.

[C83] Cain, A. J. 1983. Ecology and ecogenetics of terrestrial molluscan populations. In: W. D. Russell-Hunter (ed.) The Mollusca vol. 6. Ecology pp. 597–647. Academic Press.

[C84] Cain, A. J. 1984. Heterosematism in snails. Malacologia 25 (1): 161–172.

[C64] Carpenter, P. P. 1864. Supplementary report on the present state of our knowledge with regard to the Mollusca of the west coast of North America. Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science 33: 517–686.

[C63] Curtin, T. J. 1963. Snails from Turkey, Crete and Greece. Nautilus 76 (4): 132–135.

[E99] Esu, D. 1999. Contribution to the knowledge of Neogene climate changes in western and central Europe by means of non-marine molluscs. In: J. Agustí, L. Rook & P. Andrews (eds) The Evolution of Neogene Terrestrial Ecosystems in Europe pp. 328–354. Cambridge University Press.

[G40] Gray, J. E. 1840. A Manual of the Land and Fresh-water Shells of the British Islands, with figures of each of the kinds. By William Turton, M.D. A new edition, thoroughly revised and much enlarged. Longman, Orme, Brown, Green, and Longmans: London.

[H84] Heller, J. 1984. Shell colours of desert landsnails. Malacologia 25 (2): 355–359.

[H79] Hey, W. C. 1879. Contributions to a better knowledge of the land and freshwater shells of Yorkshire. Journal of Conchology 2: 310–314.

[HM07] Honek, A., & Z. Martinkova. 2007. A field method for quantifying the grazing activity of slugs, with particular reference to Arion lusitanicus (Mollusca). Malacologia 49 (2): 273–281.

[S84] Sacchi, C. F. 1984. Population ecology of Cepaea nemoralis and C. vindobonensis along the north Adriatic coasts of Italy. Malacologia 25 (2): 315–323.

[SS10] Stanisic, J., M. Shea, D. Potter & O. Griffiths. 2010. Australian Land Snails vol. 1. A. field guide to eastern Australian species. Bioculture Press: Mauritius.

[W79] Walker, B. 1879. Catalogue of the shell-bearing Mollusca of Michigan. Journal of Conchology 2: 325–337.

[WFS04] Winks, C. J., S. V. Fowler & L. A. Smith. 2004. Invertebrate fauna of boneseed, Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. monilifera (L.) T. Norl. (Asteraceae: Calenduleae), an invasive weed in New Zealand. New Zealand Entomologist 27: 61–72.

Last updated: 18 December 2021.

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