MolluscIreland - land and freshwater
  • Cornu aspersum (O. F. Müller 1774) Garden Snail, Escargot Grise
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Cornu aspersum
© Dr Roy Anderson

Map hosted by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, Waterford
To view the species profile on Biodiversity Maps and access the live map, please click on the map.


A very large globular shell with moderate spire and 4½-5 slightly convex whorls. Umbilicus closed. Aperture large with a thickened white lip. Surface dull, opaque, pale brown or brown-yellow often flecked with white and with a characteristic wrinkled sculpture and up to 5 dark spiral bands. Very common. The escargot grise of French cuisine.

Key characteristics

  • A very large and colourful but non-glossy shell with a moderate spire
  • Colour pale brown to brown-yellow flecked with white and with up to five irregular or interrupted dark spiral bands
  • Surface dull and with a characteristic wrinkled sculpture
  • Aperture large with a thickened white lip
  • Umbilicus closed


30-40 mm.

World Distribution

Originally with a Mediterranean range, this species has spread not only into northern and western Europe but to most temperate areas of the world.

GBIF distribution map [open in new tab]

Irish Distribution

Common throughout except inland in the northern half, where it is strongly synanthropic i.e. tied to disturbed places such as gardens or the vicinity of houses. Generally abundant near the coast.


  • Ubiquitous in dryish or base-rich grassland, stone walls or hedgerows
  • Strongly synanthropic (tied to humanly disturbed places) in the northern third of Ireland and in areas of acid bedrock elsewhere
  • Commonest in gardens and on sand dunes at the coast
  • Consumed for food in southern Britain and Europe but disparaged in Ireland

Red List status

  • Least concern (lc).

Wikipedia link

Wikipedia page for Cornu aspersum

 Anderson, R., (2016). Cornu aspersum (O. F. Müller 1774). [In] MolluscIreland. Accessed on 2024-03-02.