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How to Manage Pests:

Pest Management and Identification

Decollate snail

Scientific name: Rumina decollata

Life stages of decollate snail Adult decollate Dead decollates Eggs Feeding Brown garden snail

Click on image to enlarge

Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda

Common prey: Predator of the brown garden snail in citrus

Commercially available: Yes


The decollate snail's shell is elongate, tapered, and about 1 inch (25 mm) long. As it grows, the shell's tip becomes brittle and often becomes irregularly broken. This species was introduced from the Mediterranean into southern California in the 1970s to help control the brown garden snail (Helix aspersa). Each decollate snail lays about 500 eggs during its lifetime. The snails live in litter on soil, emerging to feed when it is dark and damp. They feed mostly on other snails and decaying organic matter. Decollates also eat young seedlings, so it may not be desirable to release them in gardens. In citrus, establishment and proper maintenance of decollate snail populations has been shown to permanently reduce brown garden snail populations to insignificant levels in 4 to 10 years. The best time to introduce and establish decollate snails in California is during warm, damp weather in the early spring. Introductions of this snail are permitted only in certain San Joaquin Valley and southern California county locations (they are illegal in other areas as they may affect native snail and slug populations).

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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