Worcestershire Record No. 6 April 1999 p. 12


David M. Green

I wrote previously (Green 1998) in Worcestershire Record of Hygromia cinctella (snail) that I found in my garden August 1996, this being the first record of the snail in Worcestershire and the most northerly recorded site in the UK. H. cinctella was first found in Britain on the south coast about 1950; during the last 15 years or so has spread across S England, and as far north as Worcestershire at least as records go (Michael Kerney, new atlas), but there seems to me little doubt that there are further unrecorded sites. Since 1996 we have found H.cinctella including juveniles in my garden regularly but not in large numbers. The most northerly known recorded distribution in Britain (and possibly the world) now moves about 10 miles north to Ken Alvin's garden in Worcester, who sent me specimens for confirmation after I reminded the WBRC annual meeting of my interest in plotting the spread of cinctella; he writes:

"The snail is continuing to prosper (at the expense of my garden plants) ... it seems to occupy a niche that competing molluscs are not so keen on. It goes for the tough leaves of Bergenia, and the old outer leaves of the winter greens like cabbage and purple sprouting broccoli. ... I force rhubarb under large plastic pots, and I find it on the inside of these and at the top of the blanched leaf stalks, where it seems to nibble at the blanched leaves; it does not eat the ordinary green leaves. It climbs the main stems of purple sprouting broccoli and nibbles the old leaves, shunning (fortunately) the tender young shoots. It climbs the stalks of Narcissus and eats the petals, especially of pale yellow varieties. I've never known slugs and snails do this. Last summer, I found it high up on sweet peas".

H. cinctella appears to have idiosyncratic tastes, and is clearly less numerous in my garden. Generally it seems to turn up in gardens after transplant of plants from S. England, possibly transported as baby snails or eggs. In identification look for the sharp edge round the rim of the shell, this ridge is at the extremity like the edge of a very blunt butter knife all round the shell, distinctly marked with a very fine pale yellow line on the very edge of the ridge alone. The shell about 11mm across, much smaller than the hedge/banded snail. If you think you might have the snail please write sending (live) snail: Windy Ridge, Little Comberton, Pershore. WR10 3EW.


GREEN David M 1998 New snail for Worcestershire Hygromia cinctella. Worcestershire Record 4
KERNEY Michael P Atlas of land and freshwater molluscs of Britain and Ireland. Harley Books. Publication due.

WBRC Home Worcs Record Listing by Issue Worcs Record Listing by Subject