The Poweshiek Skipper Project

Terrestrial Snails


 Allogona profunda (Say, 1817)

Broad-banded forestsnail

This species has also been called Polygyra profunda and Helix profunda.

This is a fairly distinctive species.  It is large--the shell diameter of an adult is slightly over an inch.  It has an open umbilicus and a thickened and reflected lip around the aperture.  The shell is a light brown and "sculpted" with spiral lines.  However, the most distinctive characteristic is the thick red band that surrounds the coils of the shell.  Baker mentions a form that does not have the broad band, and calls it (Polygyra) profunda efasciata.  He says one fifth of the Illinois specimens are this form, the rest being the banded form profunda profunda.  I do not have enough experience with the species to render a judgment on the ratios found in Iowa.


As with other large snails, if you capture them they will retract into their shells.  If you handle them some more they will release a clear liquid, then a large string of fecal material.  I would assume that is a defensive reaction but I do not know for sure.

Hubricht shows the distribution of this species to be in the Midwestern states, from eastern Kansas, north to Minnesota and Wisconsin, east as far as New York and south to southern Tennessee



In Iowa it seems to be found in most of the counties that have been surveyed.  I have found it in pretty good woodlands, but have not seen it in other habitats.  

The empty shell is easily identified with its distinctive wide band.