Nature conservation

Threatened species

Cumberland Plain Land Snail - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Meridolum corneovirens
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 08 Aug 1997
Profile last updated: 06 Jul 2019


Superficially similar to the familiar exotic Garden Snail (Helix aspera). It differs most obviously in its 25 - 30 mm diameter shell. While this shell may be almost any shade of brown, it is always uniform in colour, while that of Helix consists of dark patches on a pale background. A green or yellow tinge may be present. The Cumberland Land Snail also has a more flattened shell that is very thin and fragile, compared with the thick shell of the Garden Snail.

The under side of the shell, especially in living individuals, tends to have a glossy appearance and is semitransparent, enabling the observer to see the animal colour and some internal organs. The upper side of the shell has a coarse wrinkly appearance. In adult shells the edge of the aperture is reflected, forming a slight lip. This is typically white in colour. However, the feature is absent in both juvenile and sub-adult individuals. The juveniles have a more angular shell and tend to have an open area in the central part of the underside of the shell, known as the umbilicus. Generally, in adults the umbilicus is closed or partially covered. Sometimes there is a reddish brown patch around the umbilical area.

M. corneovirens can also be easily confused with other members of the genus Meridolum, especially those found along the edges of its’ range.


Lives in small areas on the Cumberland Plain west of Sydney, from Richmond and Windsor south to Picton and from Liverpool west to the Hawkesbury and Nepean Rivers at the base of the Blue Mountains. known from over 100 different locations, but not all are currently occupied, and they are usually isolated from each other as a result of land use patterns.

Habitat and ecology

  • Primarily inhabits Cumberland Plain Woodland (a critically endangered ecological community). This community is a grassy, open woodland with occasional dense patches of shrubs. It is also known from Shale Gravel Transition Forests, Castlereagh Swamp Woodlands and the margins of River-flat Eucalypt Forest, which are also listed communities.
  • Lives under litter of bark, leaves and logs, or shelters in loose soil around grass clumps. Occasionally shelters under rubbish.
  • Can dig several centimetres into soil to escape drought.
  • Is a fungus specialist. Unlike the Garden Snail, does not eat green plants. It is generally active at night.
  • Little is known of its biology, including breeding biology. It is known to be hermaphroditic, laying clutches of 20-25 small, round, white eggs in moist, dark areas (such as under logs), with the eggs taking 2-3 weeks to hatch. There is a suggestion that the species breeds throughout the year when conditions are suitable.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Sydney BasinBurragorang Known None
Sydney BasinCumberland Known None
Sydney BasinSydney Cataract Known None
Sydney BasinWollemi Known None
Sydney BasinYengo Known None