The Poweshiek Skipper Project

Terrestrial Snails


Oxyloma retusum (I. Lea, 1834)

Blunt Ambersnail

The keys that are available for the ambersnail group require some dissection of the soft parts.  I have not done that, so I have to say that I am reasonably sure, but not 100% sure of the identification of this snail.  

Oxyloma retusum is found mostly in the upper Midwestern states of the United States.  In Iowa it seems to have been found in most of the counties for which there are records.

As a  member of the order Stylommatophora it would be considered a terrestrial snail, but its habits are almost aquatic.  It seems to live at muddy areas  between vegetation in wetlands, where it feeds on the dead leaves.  

The individual to the right had some sort of material stuck to the side of the shell--this seemed a little abnormal.  I did not notice anything similar on the other snails I saw. 

In the photograph to the left the breathing pore, or pneumostome is visible just below the edge of the shell. The lung is present just under the surface of the shell, and is usually visible through the fairly transparent shells of ambersnails.


To the right is the empty shell of O. retusum.  The aperture on this snail is quite large.