Common Name

Scientific Name

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Utah Taxonomy

North American populations of this species were formerly known as Columella alticola, which has been submerged as a race of Columella columella. Chamberlin and Jones (1929), Berry (1931), Gregg (1942), and Pilsbry (1948) all referred to this species in Utah as Columella alticola, and Chamberlin and Jones (1929) applied to this species the common name the high altitude columnar snail.

The race of this species that occurs in North America is Columella columella alticola.

Status in Utah

Only 2 specific localities for this species are known with certainty in Utah--one in Salt Lake County (Berry 1931), the other in extreme southwestern Garfield County (Gregg 1942). A third Utah locality, "Chalk Creek" (Pilsbry 1948), is ambiguous, there being a Chalk Creek in each of several Utah counties; it seems likely, however, that the Chalk Creek listed by Pilsbry (1948) is in Summit County, Utah, near the Wyoming border.

Although Chamberlin and Jones (1929) referred to a record of this species from "Wasatch Mts. (Binney, 1878.)", the work by Binney published in 1878 that appears in their bibliography, although it does discuss this species (as Pupa alticola), apparently does not contain any record of this species from Utah. Berry (1931), too, made reference to "the indefinite record of Binney's 'Wasatch Mountains, 1878'."

None of the few reports of this species in Utah has provided useful information regarding its abundance. Gregg (1942) seemingly is the only author who has made any reference to its abundance Utah, stating that "[a] number of specimens [of this species] were taken ..." at the one locality where he found it. Since the species has very rarely been found in Utah, it is presumed to be rare in this state.

Threats to this species in Utah are not known but are presumed to be few. Habitat alteration resulting from timber harvest could be a threat, along with forest fire. Population trend of this species in Utah is unknown.

Inventory for this species is needed in montane areas throughout Utah. It should also be determined whether the species is extant at the two historical localities from which it has been reported in Utah.

This very small species, like other members of the family Pupillidae, is inconspicuous and difficult to detect; thus, it may be more widespread and perhaps more common in Utah than existing records suggest.

Habitats Utilized in Utah

Berry (1931) reported this species in Utah from a canyon of which he wrote: "The altitude rises from about 7,500 feet at the mouth to about 11,000 feet at its head, a distance of only seven miles. The dense verdure and frequent rainfalls which occur in this canyon creates an ideal collecting ground for the conchologist." Gregg (1942) reported that specimens of this species that he collected along a creek "... were found under pieces of rotten wood in well shaded places within a rather closely restricted area .... The altitude at this point was about 8,000 feet." Pilsbry (1948) listed a Utah locality at an elevation of "7500-8000 ft."


  • Text modified from: Oliver, George V. and William R. Bosworth III. 1999. Rare, imperiled, and recently extinct or extirpated mollusks of Utah[:] a literature review. Publication number 99-29. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Salt Lake City. 230 pp.