Euglandina is a genus of predatory medium- to large-sized, air-breathing, land snails, terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusks in the family Spiraxidae.[3]

A live individual of Euglandina rosea
Scientific classification

At least 44 species
  • Euglandina (Cosmomenus) H. B. Baker, 1941· accepted, alternate representation
  • Euglandina (Euglandina) Crosse & P. Fischer, 1870· accepted, alternate representation
  • Euglandina (Singleya) H. B. Baker, 1941· accepted, alternate representation
  • Pfaffia Behn, 1845

These snails were previously placed in the family Oleacinidae (according to the taxonomy of the Gastropoda by Bouchet & Rocroi, 2005).

Euglandina is the type genus of the subfamily Euglandininae. The pulmonate genus Euglandina is often referred to as Glandina in older literature, and the most widely known species, Euglandina rosea, may commonly be found under the synonym Glandina truncata.[4]

These snails are especially notable for being carnivorous and predatory. They are sometimes called "wolf snails" for that reason.


The natural range of Euglandina encompasses much of the tropical and subtropical Western Hemisphere, including the Southeastern United States to Texas, Mexico, and various locations in Central and South America. The species E. rosea has been intentionally introduced into many other warm areas — from Hawaii to New Guinea, Bermuda, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, and numerous other locations — in a vain attempt to control accidentally introduced species of snails, usually the giant African Achatina fulica.[5]

Those species of Euglandina that are not indigenous to the USA have not yet become established there, but they are considered to represent a potentially serious threat as a pest, an invasive species that could negatively affect agriculture, natural ecosystems, human health, or commerce. Therefore, these species should be given top national quarantine significance in the USA.[6]

Euglandina rosea from W. G. Binney, 1878[7]


Left to right:E. rosea (two specimens), E. r. bullata, and E. vanuxemensis from W. G. Binney, 1878[8]

The three subgenera[2] and species in the genus Euglandina include:

Subgenus Euglandina Crosse & Fischer, 1870

Subgenus Singleya H. B. Baker, 1941[2]

Subgenus Cosmomenus H. B. Baker, 1941[2]

Species brought into synonymy
  • Euglandina exesa Cockerell, 1930 - fossil: synonym of Euglandina singleyana (W. G. Binney, 1892)


The various species of Euglandina are similar in numerous ways. The shells are simple, oval in outline (sometimes broadly so), but occasionally more-or-less straight-sided, the lip of the aperture is also simple, without any thickening. These shells may be brown, orange, or pink in color, or some intermediate shade. Shell sculpture when present usually consists of striae that mark progressive growth increments. All species are carnivores, and probably have essentially the same hunting and feeding strategies,[11][12] and reproductive techniques.[13]


Members of this genus can be found in many microhabitats. They can be found in semitropical moist jungle, and in near-desert.[citation needed] Their only requirements seem to be a relatively warm climate, and the presence of a sufficient supply of food.[citation needed]


  1. Crosse & Fischer P. (1870). Miss. Sci. Méxique et Amér. Centr., Rech. zool. 7(1): 97.
  2. Thompson F. G. (16 June 2008). "AN ANNOTATED CHECKLIST AND BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE LAND AND FRESHWATER SNAILS OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA" Archived 2012-10-12 at the Wayback Machine. "PART 4 PULMONATA (ACHATINOIDEA-SAGDOIDEA)" Archived 2016-06-02 at the Wayback Machine. accessed 14 January 2011.
  3. Thompson, F. G. (2010). "Four species of land snails from Costa Rica and Panama (Pulmonata: Spiraxidae)". Revista de Biología Tropical. 58 (1): 195–202. doi:10.15517/rbt.v58i1.5204. PMID 20411717., PDF Archived 2011-06-29 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. Pilsbry H. A. (1946). Land Mollusca of North America (North of Mexico). Vol. 2, Pt. 1. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia Monograph 3.
  5. Columbia Univ. Introduced Species Project. Rosy Wolfsnail (Euglandina rosea).
  6. Cowie R. H., Dillon R. T., Robinson D. G. & Smith J. W. (2009). "Alien non-marine snails and slugs of priority quarantine importance in the United States: A preliminary risk assessment". American Malacological Bulletin 27: 113-132. PDF Archived 2016-06-16 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. Binney W. G. (1878). "The Terrestrial Air-Breathing Mollusks of the United States and Adjacent Territories of North America". Vol. 5 (plates). Bull. Mus. Comparative Zool., Harvard. Plate 59.
  8. Binney W. G. (1878). Plates 60, 61, 62. and 62a.
  9. Barrientos, Zaidett (2003). "Lista de especies de moluscos terrestres (Archaeogastropoda, Mesogastropoda, Archaeopulmonata, Stylommatophora, Soleolifera) informadas para Costa Rica". Revista Biología Tropical. 51: 293–304.
  10. Thompson F. D. (1987). "Giant carnivorous land snails from Mexico and Central America". Bulletin of the Florida State Museum (Biological Sciences) 30(2): 29-52.
  11. Cook A. (1983). "Feeding by the carnivorous snail Euglandina rosea Férrusac". Journal of Molluscan Studies 49: 32-35.
  12. Harry H. W. (1983). "Notes on the flesh-eating land snail, Euglandina rosea in Texas, and its feeding habits". Texas Conchologist 20(1): 23-27.
  13. Cook A. (1985). "The courtship of Euglandina rosea Férrusac". Journal of Molluscan Studies 51: 211-214.

Further reading

  • Hubricht L. (1985). "The distribution of the native land mollusks of the eastern United States". Fieldiana Zoology 24: 1-191.
  • Perez K. & Strenth N. E. (2003). "A systematic review of the land snail Euglandina singleyana (Binney, 1892) (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Spiraxidae)". Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 116(3): 649-660.
  • Perez K. & Strenth N. E. (2002). "Enzymatic variation in the land snail Euglandina texasiana (Gastropoda: Pulmonata) from south Texas and northeastern Mexico". Texas J. Science, 1 February 2002.