The Girdled Snail Hygromia cinctella. Please send records!

Harry Green

Following my note in Worcestershire Record 26 this is a further appeal for records. Please send them either to me or the WBRC through email to or to or write or phone – details on back of front cover or on the back cover of Worcestershire Record. Many thanks.

This snail is travelling around the country with potted plants bought at garden centres. Once in a garden it soon becomes established. It was first reported in Worcestershire in 1996 in Little Comberton (Green 1998) and was filmed for “Midlands Today” BBC TV! The original colony is still thriving in 2010. Since then we have received records from elsewhere in the county. It is highly likely that the snail is now lurking unrecorded in many gardens and it would be useful to update our knowledge. The description given in David Green’s original report makes identification clear as follows.

Shell brown to very pale brown, except usually for a single thin pale (often pale yellow) band around the outer rim of the shell. The outer whorl often appears generally darker owing to blackish splodges. A careful look from different angles reveals (a hand lens is useful) that the outer rim is also strongly keeled (the rim is a pale outward ridge, not a more rounded shape like other snails in the garden). Size much smaller than the garden snail and hedge snails. Shell widest width about 10-12mm adult, but you might find a smaller juvenile. Shell height 7mm. Despite being smallish, Hygromia cinctella is quite distinctive with the rounded pyramidal shape above, the somewhat flattened whorl below the rim, and lighter coloured keel at the rim. Mouth viewed-head on is oval as a general shape, not round. Underneath, the umbilicus (hole in centre) is minute, partly covered by lip. The big pair of antennae are particularly long when fully extended.

GREEN, D.M. 1998. New snail to Worcestershire - Hygromia cinctella. Worcestershire Record 4: page 5, May 1998. (

Hygromia cinctella, the Girdled Snail. Picture © G H Green
Hygromia cinctella, the Girdled Snail. Picture © G H Green