Pacific Sideband Snails

Pacific Sideband (Monadenia fidelis)
Pacific Sideband (Monadenia fidelis) crossing a trail at Oyster River Nature Park, Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed Pacific Sideband (Monadenia fidelis) snails crossing the trails that I’ve been walking at Miracle Beach Provincial Park and at Oyster River Nature Park on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. This large native British Columbian snail is comparable in size (a little larger) to the Grovesnails (Cepaea nemoralis), that I saw along the Courtenay Riverwalk in late April. However, the snail itself is more subtle in its colouration. The shell is brown with dark or light spirals and the body of the animal is a rosy brown colour.

Pacific Sideband (Monadenia fidelis)
Closeup detail of the shell of a Pacific Sideband (Monadenia fidelis) snail.

Pacific Sidebands can be found in mixed deciduous and coniferous forests of the coastal lowlands of the Georgia Basin in British Columbia. Efauna BC listes the global range of the species as “Sitka, Alaska (Dall 1905); British Columbia to northwestern California (Roth & Sadeghian 2003, 2006). La Rocque (1953) listed the species from the Yukon, but the presence of this species there seems unlikely. The Alaska record needs verification.”

The Pacific Sideband is blue listed in British Columbia by the BC Conservation Data Centre. While its overall range is large (generally west of the Cascades and Coast Mountain ranges) it is vulnerable to habitat loss and fragmentation. Development, forestry and agricultural practices in the Lower Mainland and coastal areas of British Columbia are major threats to this native snail.

Pacific Sideband (Monadenia fidelis)
Side profile of a Pacific Sideband (Monadenia fidelis).

I spent some time at ground level, patiently waiting for a good moment to photograph the snails before moving them to the side of the trail. Spring and early summer seem to be good times to see these beautiful snails and I always enjoy seeing them!

For more information about Pacific Sideband snails consider:

More invertebrate goodness can be found at Circus of the Spineless this month hosted by Deep Sea News. More great macro photography can be found every Monday at Macro Monday!

Circus of the Spineless

Macro Monday


  1. Hi Dave,
    Love the snail and I really enjoy your blog, even if I don’t comment often. Of course, this time I have a reason for commenting, since I am after a little help. Could you please pop by my blog and take a look at my 3rd Macro Monday photo for this week and let me know what it is. I have just moved and all my ID books are in a box somewhere and my ID skills are not especially good, unlike yours. The photo was taken on a hike up Mount Strachan, just north of Vancouver. Thanks!

  2. It helps that my wife is an excellent botanist and keeps detailed plant records … otherwise I struggle as well. I’ll take a look at your fern and see if I can ID your plant. Thanks for your kind comments and for stopping in!

  3. Hi Dave, I have been waiting for your post for sometime. Finally welcome 🙂 You are lucky that you can identify what you see.

  4. Thanks Burcu – I’m starting to go through my images from our Okanagan trip and a backlog of photos from Vancouver Island as well. Hard to find time to post but the weather has been fairly wet this week so there’s not as much incentive to get out side!

  5. Pingback: Circus of the Oiled Spineless #51 | Deep Sea News

  6. Thanks Mike – I find that the challenge is getting both the eye in focus and enough depth of field to get enough texture in the shell. Fortunately this snail was fairly cooperative and I didn’t need a wrangler!

  7. Fantastic pictures. I’ve never seen a snail with a body color like that: ours are all the typical smooth shiny grey.

  8. I always love finding these snails on our walks in the woods – they’re so large and fun to watch! Thanks for your comments!

  9. Dave,

    We recently visited Oregon and my son found two Pacific Sideband snails. We now have them in Las Vegas. What can I feed them?



  10. Hi Amelia,

    Whew – what a double-edged question. For the record I really don’t approve of relocating an animal (be it slug or snail) from its home habitat to a new location, particularly one that is Blue Listed.

    That being said, it would be challenging, and probably not a good idea for you to return it to where you got it so you’re going to have to do your best to keep your snails happy and healthy for the rest of their up to 8 year lifespan. Snails in captivity can be fed a variety of fungi and plant material – you might want to try some mushrooms and other vegetables. Make sure you’ve got a fairly moist place for them to live. Efauna has some additional information about the Pacific Sideband snail that might be helpful to understand your new housemates:

    All the best,


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