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13 Types of Garden Snails

There are many different types of garden snails. Some are beneficial and several are considered a nuisance to gardeners because they eat plants and vegetables.

Garden snails can reproduce quickly because they can be both male and female. They lay several dozens of eggs and quickly destroy gardens and flower beds.

This article will help you identify 13 types of garden snails.

13 Types of Garden Snails

Garden snails can be pests to many gardeners, but some are actually beneficial to the environment. Keep reading to learn more about different types of garden snails.

1. Brown Garden Snail

Brown garden snail crawling
Brown garden snail crawling | image by Elias Gayles via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Cornu aspersum

The brown garden snail is a very common snail found throughout the world. It was introduced as escargot in California in the 1850s and that’s when it became a pest to farmers.

Brown garden snails can be different shades of brown in color. Their whorled shell can be over an inch in diameter.

2. Giant African Land Snail

Giant African land snail
Giant African Land Snail | image by Dinesh Valke via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific name: Lissachatina fulica

The giant African land snail is one of the largest land snails in the world and is considered the most invasive. Native to east Africa, they can thrive in many different kinds of habitats and conditions.

These giant snails can grow to up to 8 inches in length. They have a conical shaped shell that is twice as long as it is wide. Interestingly, shells can coil clockwise or counter-clockwise, but clockwise is most common.

3. Orchid Snail

Scientific name: Zonitoides arboreus

The orchid snail has a small light brown shell that is around a quarter of 6 millimeters in diameter. The shell is slightly flattened and has six to seven whorls.

The orchid snail’s body is darker colored than its shell. They like to live around your potted plants, especially orchids. They are considered quite a pest in gardens and flower beds.

4. Globular Drop Snail

A globular drop snail on mud
A globular drop snail on mud | image by Zinogre via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

Scientific name: Helicina orbiculata

Globular drop snails live in subtropical and tropical climates in North America. They’re very common pests in northern Mexico, Texas, and Florida.

These snails survive through extreme droughts and freezing weather because they have unique features and abilities. They can burrow during freezes, and during drought, they can seal the opening to their shell to preserve moisture.

5. Bronze Pinecone Snail

Scientific name: Strobilops aeneus

The bronze pinecone snail can be found in the middle and eastern parts of the United States. It’s also found in southern parts of Canada. They like to live around rotting logs and leaf debris.

Bronze pinecone snails have a brown shell that has 6 whorls covered in ridges. It’s a tiny snail, only measuring about 2.5 millimeters in diameter.

6. Milk Snail

Milk snail on a rock
Milk snail on a rock | image by Sam Fraser-Smith via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Otala lactea

The milk snail is also called the Spanish snail. It is an edible snail found in the Mediterranean and was introduced to the southwestern United States and Caribbean. They prefer a humid environment where they can thrive.

Milk snails are considered a nuisance because they feed on fruits and plants. They have a light brown shell with dark lines and a spiral whorl pattern.

7. White Garden Snail

A white garden snail on a rock
A white garden snail on a rock | image by tato grasso via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0

Scientific name: Theba pisana

White garden snails are another edible Mediterranean snail but they are considered an invasive species around the world. They have been responsible for driving out native species due to food competition.

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White garden snail are medium-sized. Their shells can grow to 20 millimeters. They have many color variations and can be light brown, light orange, cream-colored, or white with various patterns with darker lines or speckles.

8. Roman Snail

Roman snail
Roman snail | image by Raphaël Quinet via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific name: Helix pomatia

Also known as the burgundy snail, Roman snails are found throughout Europe in a variety of habitats.  They can be found in forests, gardens, vineyards, and along rivers and streams, however, they’re not as invasive as other species on our list.

Roman snails are large, edible land snails, measuring up to 2 inches in height and width. Their shell is brown and body is a lighter color. These snails are common in escargot dishes.

9. Brown-lipped Snail

Brown-lipped snail on a concrete pavement
Brown-lipped snail on a concrete pavement | image by hedera.baltica via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific name: Cepaea nemoralis

The brown-lipped snail is also known as the grove or lemon snail. They are a brightly colored snail with a yellow, white, or reddish colored shell and dark brown stripes along the lip and in the whorls.

Their shell can have 4 to 5 whorls. The species is native to northern and western Europe, including the British Isles.

They are found in a broad range of habitats, from the Alps to lowland meadows. Brown-lipped snails are not destructive to gardens. They prefer dead plants.

10. Compound Coil Snail

Scientific name: Helicodiscus parallelus

The compound coil snail is a small blind snail found from northern Mexico up to the Great Lakes in North America. They prefer wet habitats with decaying plant material to feed on.

It has a flattened round shell that coils and looks like a little tire. They’re light brown colored and only measure about 3 millimeters wide and under 2 millimeters tall. They have about 4 whorls in their shell.

11. White-lipped Snail

White-lipped snail on stem
White-lipped snail on stem | image by hedera.baltica via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific name: Cepaea hortensis

A close relative of the grove snail, white-lipped snails are slightly smaller. They are cream, light yellow or pink colored with dark brown stripe running in their whorl. As you might have guessed, their aperture (opening) has a white lip.

White-lipped snails are found in northern regions of Europe. Even though they’ve been introduced to the eastern part of North America, they have yet to establish significant populations.

12. Mediterranean Green Snail

Mediterranean green snail on a rock
Mediterranean green snail on a rock | image by tatogra via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific name: Cantareus apertus

Also called the green garden snail, Mediterranean green snails are found throughout the Mediterranean region. They’re also invasive after being introduced in California and Louisiana in the United States, and western parts of Australia.

Mediterranean green snails are an olive green color. Their shells grow over an inch in height and width. They destroy crops and vegetable gardens eating leafy greens and grains.

13. Toothed Globe Snail

Scientific name: Mesodon zaletus

The toothed globe snail is light brown or yellow in color. They’re found throughout the eastern half of North America living in old growth forests and at higher elevations.

Toothed globes get their name from the tooth appendage growing on their shell. They’re a large snail and grow to be over 3 centimeters.