This small species of woodland snail caused some consternation last year when my students, Keri Bryan and Maggie Shipley, found several in the forests around here. The shells keyed out to Ventridens pilsbryi, but we were working with dead shells, not live individuals. One diagnostic character is the color of the body — “pale yellowish with some gray along the back” (instead of “dark” as in the gularis group) according to Hubricht’s original description.
Yesterday I found a live one in some leaf litter samples that students in the Sewanee Environmental Institute had gathered. The body is light, although not yellowish.
I am currently working on Land Snails of the Great Smoky Mountains and the southern Appalachians and have found these two to be challenging too! I have reviewed my own collections as well as all the literature and am now convinced that what I may have called V. gularis early in my snail career, to be in fact, V. pilsbryi. I now suspect that many collections prior to Hubricht’s distinction between the two have in fact been called V. gularis.
According to Hubricht, V. pilsbryi is a bit larger and has a lower shell profile than V. gularis. Perhaps this will help in identifying shells.
I concur with you that the images above are indeed V. pilsbryi.
Thank you, Dan! Great to have your input here. This is a challenging genus.
How can I buy a copy of your book? I’d love to learn from your superior wisdom and experience.