Ground snails

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Ground snails
Blind snail (Cecilioides acicula)

Blind snail ( Cecilioides acicula )

Subclass : Orthogastropoda
Superordinate : Heterobranchia
Order : Lung snails (pulmonata)
Subordination : Land snails (Stylommatophora)
Superfamily : Achatinoidea
Family : Ground snails
Scientific name
Mørch , 1864

The ground snails (Cecilioididae, syn. Ferussaciidae) are a family from the subordination of the land snails (Stylommatophora). They are mostly small snails that live in the ground. Some species in this group are blind; H. have reduced the eyes.


The housings are tall, slim and mostly small (a few millimeters to a maximum of 18 mm). The skin is thin, smooth and shiny, often even translucent to transparent. The opening is oval to pear-shaped. The animals can withdraw completely into the housing. The animals usually lay a few, very large, lime-shell eggs from which the finished young hatch after a few days ( ovoviviparous ).

Occurrence and way of life

The family occurs worldwide in the temperate and warm latitudes; the main focus is in the Mediterranean area. The animals mostly live underground in the gap systems of the ground and in scree fields, crevices and caves. Many of the forms living underground are blind. They feed on rotting plant material.


The family of ground snails is included in the superfamily Achatinoidea. The family can be found in almost all older works as Ferussaciidae Bourguignat, 1883 (or also Fer r ussaciidae, based on the misspelling Ferrussacia ). However, the name Ferussaciidae (or Ferrussaciidae) is a more recent synonym for the older name Cecilioididae.

  • Ground snails (Cecilioididae) (formerly Ferussaciidae)
    • Genus Ferussacia Risso, 1826 (with subgenera F. (Ferussacia) ) and F. (Pegea) Risso, 1826 (preoccupied)
    • Genus Cecilioides Férussac, 1814 (with subgenus C. (Cecilioides) , C. (Rhaphidiella) Maltzan, 1886) and C. (Terebrella) Maltzan, 1886 (possibly preoccupied)
    • Genus Amphorella Lowe, 1856 (with subgenera A. (Amphorella) , A. (Hypselia) Lowe, 1854, A. (Fusillus) Lowe, 1854, A. (Pyrgella) Lowe, 1854, A. (Cylichnidia) Lowe, 1854)
    • Genus Calaxis Bourguignat, 1887
    • Genus Coilostele Benson, 1864
    • Genus Connollya Odhner, 1932
    • Genus Cylichnidia Lowe, 1852
    • Genus Digoniaxis Jousseaume, 1889
    • Genus Geostilbia Crosse, 1867
    • Genus Hohenwartiana Bourguignat, 1864
    • Genus Karolus Folin, 1870
    • Genus Pseudocalaxis Pallary, 1912
    • Genus Sculptiferussacia Germain, 1911

Individual evidence

  1. [1]
  2. [2]


  • Rosina Fechter, Gerhard Falkner: Mollusks. 287 pp., Mosaik-Verlag, Munich 1990 (Steinbach's Nature Guide 10), ISBN 3-570-03414-3
  • Michael P. Kerney, RAD Cameron, Jürgen H. Jungbluth: The land snails of Northern and Central Europe. 384 pp., Paul Parey, Hamburg & Berlin 1983, ISBN 3-490-17918-8
  • Victor Millard: Classification of the Mollusca. A Classification of World Wide Mollusca . Rhine Road, South Africa 1997, ISBN 0-620-21261-6
  • Anatolij A. Schileyko: Treatise on Recent Terrestrial Pulmonate Molluscs. Part 4 Draparnaudiidae, Caryodidae, Macrocyclidae, Acavidae, Clavatoridae, Dorcasiidae, Sculptariidae, Corillidae, Plectopylidae, Megalobulimidae, Strophocheilidae, Cerionidae, Achatinidae, Subulinidae, Glessussaciidae, Micractussulidae,. In: Ruthenica. , Supplement, 2 (4): 435-564, Moscow 1999, ISSN  0136-0027
  • Christopher M. Wade, Peter B. Mordan, Fred Naggs: Evolutionary relationships among the Pulmonate land snails and slugs (Pulmonata, Stylommatophora). In: Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 87: 593-610, Oxford 2006, ISSN  0024-4066

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