White Garden Snail, Theba pisana (Mueller) (Gastropoda: Helicidae)
view on EDIS



How to Cite

Deisler, Jane E., and Lionel A. Stange. 2004. “White Garden Snail, Theba Pisana (Mueller) (Gastropoda: Helicidae): EENY-197/IN354, Rev. 8/2002”. EDIS 2004 (5). https://doi.org/10.32473/edis-in354-2002.


The white garden snail, Theba pisana (Mueller), is the worst potential agricultural pest of the helicid snails introduced to North America (Mead 1971). It is the most frequently intercepted foreign land snail (Hanna 1966, Mead 1971), generally arriving in shipments from the Mediterranean countries. Theba pisana shows a strong proclivity for climbing up and into freight for aestivation and is difficult to detect. This snail can survive long and arduous journeys because of its ability to form a wall of dried mucus, called an epiphragm, in the aperture of its shell which reduces water loss during dormancy. Theba pisana is capable of explosive reproductive rates where it has been introduced, and can be found in densities of up to 3000 snails per tree (Mead 1971) after periods of
less than 5 years (Chace 1915, Orcutt 1919). Once established, T. pisana causes severe defoliation of a number of plants, including citrus and ornamental plantings (Orcutt 1919, Pilsbry 1939, Abbott 1950, Dekle 1962, Hanna 1966, Mead 1971). Theba pisana was previously known as Helix pasana (Mueller). This document is EENY-197 (originally published as DPI Entomology Circular 2), one of a series of Featured Creatures from the Entomology and Nematology Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Published: March 2001. Revised August 2002.

EENY-197/IN354: White Garden Snail, Theba pisana (Mueller) (Gastropoda: Helicidae) (ufl.edu)

view on EDIS

The documents contained on this website are copyrighted by the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) for the people of the State of Florida. UF/IFAS retains all rights under all conventions, but permits free reproduction by all agents and offices of the Cooperative Extension Service and the people of the State of Florida. Permission is granted to others to use these materials in part or in full for educational purposes, provided that full credit is given to the UF/IFAS, citing the publication, its source, and date of publication.