Welcome to the fascinating world of terrestrial gastropod mollusks, also known as land snails and slugs.

Snails are unique mollusks with rasping mouthparts, intercrossing dorsal and ventral muscles, and a mantle, the organ that builds a hard shell (though less active in slugs). Malacology - the study of mollusks - has been an integral part of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History since its founding in 1895.

Land Snails Image Gallery Link

Land Snails Image Gallery

View the image gallery of land snails, which includes both shelled snails and shell-less slugs. Visually identify species by state, region, and habitat.

Land Snail Ecology

Land Snail Ecology

Land snails are small, widespread animals that live among leaf litter, plants, and wood, which they help break down to make soil. They have a variety of parasites and predators; move energy, protein, and calcium up the "food chain"; and have a great variety of life patterns and behaviors.

Technical information and resources


Technical information such as anatomy, terminology, references, and links to more snail sites is found here.








Hotopp, K.P., T.A. Pearce, J.C. Nekola, J. Slapcinsky, D.C. Dourson, M. Winslow, G. Kimber, and B. Watson. 2013. Land Snails and Slugs of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States. Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Online Resource: http://www.carnegiemnh.org/science/mollusks/index.html