Vertigo modesta - (Say, 1824)
Cross Vertigo
Other English Common Names: Cross Vertigo Snail
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Vertigo modesta (Say, 1824) (TSN 76841)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.838692
Element Code: IMGAS20210
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Mollusks - Terrestrial Snails
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mollusca Gastropoda Stylommatophora Pupillidae Vertigo
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Nekola, J.C., B.F. Coles, and U. Bergthorsson. 2009. Evolutionary pattern and process within the Vertigo gouldii (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Pupillidae) group of minute North American land snails. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 53:1010-1024.
Concept Reference Code: A09NEK03EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Vertigo modesta
Taxonomic Comments: Although Bequaert and Miller (1973) indicate that Vertigo concinnula is simply a subspecies of Vertigo modesta, both shell morphology and DNA sequence data suggest that it is worthy of species-level distinction (Nekola et al., 2009). In a phylogenetic analysis of the Vertigo gouldii complex, Nekola et al. (2009) conclude that Vertigo modesta appears to be a species complex (Pilsbry, 1948). Nekola et al. (2009) further note that this aggregate in boreal and arctic North America shows the presence of at least three forms that possess consistent morphology and habitat preferences over wide geographical ranges. Also, the large Vertigo cristata morph has often been confused with Vertigo modesta modesta by previous researchers (see Nekola et al., 2009).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 12Apr2010
Global Status Last Changed: 08Oct2002
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: This species, including several tentative subspecies, occurs disjunctly from Labrador and Quebec west to Alaska and possibly south into the Rocky Mountains and west to California Fossil material is known from much farther south in the northern plains states as far south as northern Texas.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (08Oct2002)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5 (24Jan2013)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alaska (SNR), California (SNR), Idaho (SNR), Illinois (SNR), Indiana (SX), Iowa (SX), Kansas (SX), Kentucky (SX), Michigan (S1), Minnesota (SNR), Missouri (SX), Montana (S4S5), Nebraska (SX), New Mexico (S5), North Dakota (SX), Oregon (SNR), South Dakota (SNR), Texas (SX), Utah (SH), Washington (SNR), Wisconsin (S1), Wyoming (SNR)
Canada Alberta (SNR), British Columbia (S5), Labrador (SNR), Manitoba (SNR), Newfoundland Island (SNR), Nova Scotia (SNR), Nunavut (SU), Ontario (S2S3), Quebec (SNR), Saskatchewan (SNR)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: This species, including several tentative subspecies, occurs from Labrador and Quebec west to the Aleutian Islands, Alaska; and also Kamchatka and the Kurile Islands (Forsyth, 2004; Nekola and Coles, 2010). While characteristic of the Rocky Mountains and boreal forest (Oughton, 1948; Pilsbry 1948) where it is widespread and common, it was known in the eastern U.S. until recently only from Pleistocene fossils (Hubricht, 1985) ranging from the central Plains to southern Indiana. Subspecies modesta is a rare element in the western Great Lakes fauna, with extant populations being reported from the north shore of Lake Superior (Oughton, 1948), Manitoulin Island, Owens Sound region in southern Ontario (Nekola, 1998a), from two sites at the northern tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula (Nekola, 1998b), and most recently three sites in Minnesota (Nekola et al., 1999). Subspecies ultima is from northern Labrador and central Quebec west to Alaska, and subspecies hoppi is from Labrador, Manitoba, Nunavut, and Alaska (Nekola and Coles, 2010). Pilsbry (1948) included forms from the Rocky Mountains from Utah to California as parietalis which intergrades with modesta according to Nekola and Coles (2010). TheVertigo modesta arctica form, as it is called in Europe (Kerney and Cameron, 1979), is dominant along the southern shore of Hudson's Bay, southern Baffin Island, and from limestone pavements along the northern shore of the St. Lawrence; and also represents the western Newfoundland material identified as Vertigo modesta castanea by Brooks and Brooks (1940).

Number of Occurrences: > 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Hubricht (1985) includes only Pleistocene fossil occurrences in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Texas. Nekola (2004) documented it from a single population in northeastern Wisconsin in Longlade Co., with the nearest known extant colonies approximately 150 km north on the northern tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula, 250 km northwest on the north shore of Lake Superior in northeastern Minnesota, and 300 km east on Manitoulin Island (Nekola et al., 1999) (this is one of the few non-Pleistocene fossil occurrences in the central U.S.). The subspecies parietalis is also known from Pleistocene deposits in the Black Hills of Fall River/Custer Cos., South Dakota (Jass et al., 2002). According to Oliver and Bosworth (1999), eleven Utah occurrences of this species have been published (all except one the parietalis form): the central and southern portions of the Wasatch Range, in Weber, Salt Lake, Wasatch and Utah Cos., and in the Uinta Mountains in Summit Co., with other populations in Sevier Co. in central Utah and Kane and San Juan Cos. in southern Utah (Binney, 1886; Pilsbry and Vanatta, 1900; Ferriss, 1920; Chamberlin and Jones, 1929; Chamberlin and Berry, 1930; Berry, 1931; Jones, 1940; Woolstenhulme, 1942a; 1942b). The San Juan County records represent the only occurrence of the subspecies insculpta in Utah. Nekola (1998) also lists parietalis from the Niagara Escarpment in the upper peninsula of Michigan. Nekola et al. (1999) list three new sites in Minnesota (Cascade River Cliff and Mt. Josephine Talus in Cook Co.; and Manitou River Falls in Lake Co.) for subspecies modesta. Baxter (1987) cites occurrences in Alaska in the North Gulf Coast, Aleutian Islands, and southeast; and also Attu (Aleutian Islands) (Roth and Lindberg, 1981). Forsyth (2004; 2005) documented it (usually the parietalis form) in the Upper Fraser Basin of central British Columbia and in the Peace River- northern Rockies region (Forsyth, 2005) but is known elsewhere up to the tree line at 1700 m. In Alberta, it occurs from near Pincher Creek to southwest of Calgary towards Kananaskis, Lake Louise, Jasper, and east to Edmonton (Lepitzki, 2001). Roth and Sadeghian (2003) cite the castanea form from California in Siskiyou, Modoc, Shasta, Lassen, Tehama, Plumas, Lake, Nevada, Placer, El Dorado, Mono, Mariposa, Fresno, Inyo, and San Bernardino Cos.

Short-term Trend: Unknown

Long-term Trend: Unknown

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) This species, including several tentative subspecies, occurs from Labrador and Quebec west to the Aleutian Islands, Alaska; and also Kamchatka and the Kurile Islands (Forsyth, 2004; Nekola and Coles, 2010). While characteristic of the Rocky Mountains and boreal forest (Oughton, 1948; Pilsbry 1948) where it is widespread and common, it was known in the eastern U.S. until recently only from Pleistocene fossils (Hubricht, 1985) ranging from the central Plains to southern Indiana. Subspecies modesta is a rare element in the western Great Lakes fauna, with extant populations being reported from the north shore of Lake Superior (Oughton, 1948), Manitoulin Island, Owens Sound region in southern Ontario (Nekola, 1998a), from two sites at the northern tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula (Nekola, 1998b), and most recently three sites in Minnesota (Nekola et al., 1999). Subspecies ultima is from northern Labrador and central Quebec west to Alaska, and subspecies hoppi is from Labrador, Manitoba, Nunavut, and Alaska (Nekola and Coles, 2010). Pilsbry (1948) included forms from the Rocky Mountains from Utah to California as parietalis which intergrades with modesta according to Nekola and Coles (2010). TheVertigo modesta arctica form, as it is called in Europe (Kerney and Cameron, 1979), is dominant along the southern shore of Hudson's Bay, southern Baffin Island, and from limestone pavements along the northern shore of the St. Lawrence; and also represents the western Newfoundland material identified as Vertigo modesta castanea by Brooks and Brooks (1940).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AK, CA, IAextirpated, ID, IL, INextirpated, KSextirpated, KYextirpated, MI, MN, MOextirpated, MT, NDextirpated, NEextirpated, NM, OR, SD, TXextirpated, UT, WA, WI, WY
Canada AB, BC, LB, MB, NF, NS, NU, ON, QC, SK

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
ID Adams (16003), Bannock (16005)*, Clearwater (16035), Idaho (16049), Lemhi (16059)*, Shoshone (16079)*, Valley (16085)
MI Keweenaw (26083)
UT Davis (49011)*, Duchesne (49013)*, Kane (49025)*, Morgan (49029)*, Salt Lake (49035)*, San Juan (49037)*, Sevier (49041)*, Summit (49043)*, Utah (49049)*, Wasatch (49051)*, Wayne (49055)*, Weber (49057)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
04 Keweenaw Peninsula (04020103)+
14 Upper Colorado-Kane Springs (14030005)+*, Duchesne (14060003)+*, Fremont (14070003)+*, Lower Lake Powell (14070006)+*, Lower San Juan-Four Corners (14080201)+*, Montezuma (14080203)+*, Lower San Juan (14080205)+*
15 Upper Virgin (15010008)+*
16 Upper Bear (16010101)+*, Upper Weber (16020101)+*, Lower Weber (16020102)+*, Utah Lake (16020201)+*, Provo (16020203)+*, Jordan (16020204)+*, East Fork Sevier (16030002)+*
17 South Fork Coeur D'alene (17010302)+*, Portneuf (17040208)+*, North Fork Payette (17050123)+, Weiser (17050124)+, Middle Salmon-Panther (17060203)+*, Little Salmon (17060210)+*, South Fork Clearwater (17060305)+, Clearwater (17060306)+*, Upper North Fork Clearwater (17060307)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Habitat Type: Terrestrial
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Terrestrial Snails

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on some evidence of historical or current presence of single or multiple specimens, including live specimens or recently dead shells (i.e., soft tissue still attached without signs of external weathering or staining), at a given location with potentially recurring existence. Weathered shells constitute a historic occurrence. Evidence is derived from reliable published observation or collection data; unpublished, though documented (i.e. government or agency reports, web sites, etc.) observation or collection data; or museum specimen information.
Separation Barriers: Barriers include barriers to dispersal such as the presence of permanent water bodies greater than 30 m in width, permanently frozen areas (e.g. mountaintop glaciers) which generally lack land snails (Frest and Johannes, 1995), or dry, xeric areas with less than six inches precipitation annually, as moisture is required for respiration and often hatching of eggs. For the various slugs and slug-like species (families Arionidae, Philomycidae, Limacidae, Milacidae, Testacellidae, Veronicellidae), absence of suitable moisture, except for the most ubiquitous of species such as Deroceras reticulatum (Müller, 1774), can serve as a barrier to movement (Frest and Johannes, 1995). Members of these groups tend to have greater difficulty crossing areas of little moisture than other pulmonates. For tree snails (family Bulimulidae [= Orthalicidae]), lack of appropriate arboreal habitat (e.g. distance of greater than 500 m) also serves as a separation barrier.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 1 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: None
Separation Justification: Burch and Pearce (1990) suggest refuges may be the most important factor limiting terrestrial snail abundance, although the greatest richness of species among carbonate cliff habitats (one of the most diverse in North America) is associated with calcareous, as opposed to acidic, substrates (Nekola, 1999; Nekola and Smith, 1999). The panmictic unit (a local population in which matings are random) is small relative to those of other animal groups because terrestrial snails tend to be more sedentary. Baker (1958) claimed, "long-distance dispersal of terrestrial gastropods is undoubtedly passive" although short distance dispersal is active involving slow, short distance migration under favorable conditions. Long-distance passive migration is not considered when assigning separation distances, as otherwise separation distances for many animals and plants would be made impracticably large. Passive migration of snails on terrestrial mammals, birds, or insects may occur over longer distances may occur across barriers. Passive migration also may occur by wind or by rafting on floating objects (Vagvolgyi, 1975). A third form of passive migration may occur through human activity such as transport as food, with consumed goods, or for biological control of other organisms.

Terrestrial gastropods do not move much usually only to find food or reproduce. Olfaction is the primary sensory behavior utilized to find and move toward a food item (on the scale of cm to m) although Atkinson (2003) found that Anguispira alternata was capable of switching foraging behavior when snails encountered a physical barrier to movement. Fisher et al (1980) reported maximum movement rate of Rumina decollata (Linnaeus, 1758), an introduced pest species in California spreading relatively rapidly (for a snail), to be 20 m in three months (= 6.67 m/month) in an irrigated orchard. Tupen and Roth (2001) reported the movement rate for the same species in an un-irrigated native scrub on San Nicolas Island to be 0.4 km in 12 years (= 33.33 m/month). South (1965) found in dispersal studies of the slug, Deroceras reticulatum, that slugs traveled a mean distance of 1.13 m in seven days indicating this species disperses little throughout its life. Giokas and Mylonas (2004) found mean dispersal and minimal movement distances were very small (16.2 and 5.4 m, respectively) for Albinaria coerulea, with few individuals dispersing longer distances. Even the most extreme dispersal distances, such as 500 m for the giant African land snail Achatina fulica (Tomiyama and Nakane, 1993), do not approach the scale of km. Viable land snail populations generally occupy small areas. Frest and Johannes (1995) report the largest Oreohelix colony they observed was one mile (1.67 km) long and 0.25 miles (0.41 km) wide while the smallest was six feet (183 cm) long and two feet (61 cm) wide.

As a whole, pulmonates (previously Subclass Pulmonata) are better dispersers than prosobranchs (previously Subclass Prosobranchia) possibly due to their hermaphroditic reproduction increasing the chance of new colonization (Pilsbry, 1948). When compared with prosobranch families, pulmonates generally reproduce at smaller sizes and sooner, produce greater numbers of eggs/young, have larger clutch sizes, greater growth rates, and shorter life cycles (Brown, 1991). Further, prosobranchs' requirement of constant moisture for oxygen exchange limits their ability to colonize drier habitats. Suitable habitat for pulmonate groups tends to be more varied and less restrictive than for prosobranch groups. All of these factors contribute to pulmonates greater dispersal capability over prosobranchs, as evidenced by the wider and more varied distribution of pulmonates over prosobranchs. Despite this, separation distance for both groups is set at the minimum one km as most movements are well within this suggested minimum separation distance.

Date: 26May2004
Author: Cordeiro, J.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 12Apr2010
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Cordeiro, J.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Anderson, T. 2004e. Field guide to Black Hills land snails. Natural History Inventory of Colorado 22: 1-31.

  • Baxter, R. 1987. Mollusks of Alaska: a listing of all mollusks, freshwater, terrestrial, and marine reported from the State of Alaska, with locations of the species types, maximum sizes and marine depths inhabited. Shells and Sea Life, Bayside, California. 163 pp.

  • Bequaert, J.C. and W.B. Miller. 1973. The Mollusks of the Arid Southwest with an Arizona Check List. University of Arizona Press: Tucson, Arizona. 271 pp.

  • Berry, E.G. 1931. Mollusca of Lamb's Canyon, Utah. The Nautilus 44:113-114.

  • Binney, W.G. 1886. A second supplement to the fifth volume of the terrestrial air-breathing mollusks of the United States and adjacent territories. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard College 13(2): 23-48 + 3 plates.

  • Brooks, S.T. and B.W. Brooks. 1940. Geographical distribution of the Recent Mollusca of Newfoundland. Annals of the Carnegie Museum, 28: 53-75.

  • Chamberlin, R.V. and D.T. Jones. 1929. A descriptive catalog of the Mollusca of Utah. Bulletin of the University of Utah, [Biological Series 1(1)] 19(4): 1-203.

  • Chamberlin, R.V. and E. Berry. 1930. Mollusca from the Henry Mountains and some neighboring points in Utah. Bulletin of the University of Utah, 21(2): 1-8.

  • Ferriss, J.H. 1920. The Navajo Nation. The Nautilus 33:109-111; 34: 1-14.

  • Forsyth, R.G. 2004b. Land Snails of British Columbia. Royal British Columbia Museum: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. 188 pp.

  • Forsyth, R.G. 2005a. Terrestrial gastropods of the Upper Fraser Basin of British Columbia. Living Landscapes, Royal British Columbia Museum: Victoria, British Columbia. 26 pp.

  • Forsyth, R.G. 2005b. Terrestrial gastropods of the Peace River- northern Rockies region of British Columbia. Living Landscapes, Royal British Columbia Museum: Victoria, British Columbia. 23 pp.

  • Hubricht, L. 1985. The distribution of the native land mollusks of the eastern United States. Fieldiana: Zoology, 24:1-191.

  • Jass, C.N., J.I. Mead, A.D. Morrison, and L.D. Agebroad. 2002. Late Pleistocene mollusks from the southern Black Hills, South Dakota. Western North American Naturalist, 62(2): 129-140.

  • Jones, D.T. 1940. Recent collections of Utah Mollusca, with extralimital records from certain Utah cabinets. Utah Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters, 17: 33-45.

  • Kerney, M.P. and R.A.D. Cameron. 1979. Field Guide to the Land Snails of the British Isles and Northwestern Europe. Collins Press, London, England.

  • Lepitzki, D.A.W. 2001. Gastropods: 2000 preliminary status ranks for Alberta. Unpublished report prepared for Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, Fish and Wildlife Division, Edmonton, Alberta. 126 pp.

  • Nekola, J.C. 1998b. Terrestrial gastropod inventory of the Niagaran Escarpment and Keweenaw Volcanic Belt in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Final Report, Small Grants Program, 1998 Nongame Wildlife Fund, Natural Heritage Program, Michigan DNR, Lansing, Michigan. 133pp.

  • Nekola, J.C. 2003 [2004]. Terrestrial gastropod fauna of northeastern Wisconsin and the southern upper peninsula of Michigan. American Malacological Bulletin, 18(1/2): 21-44.

  • Nekola, J.C. and B.F. Coles. 2010. Pupillid land snails of eastern North America. American Malacological Bulletin 28:29-57.

  • Nekola, J.C., B.F. Coles, and U. Bergthorsson. 2009. Evolutionary pattern and process within the Vertigo gouldii (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Pupillidae) group of minute North American land snails. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 53:1010-1024.

  • Nekola, J.C., M. Barthel, P. Massart, and E. North. 1999. Terrestrial gastropod inventory of igneous outcrops in northeastern Minnesota. Final Report: 1998 Natural Heritage and Nongame Research Program, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, St. Paul, Minnesota. 69 pp.

  • Oughton, J. 1948. A zoogeographical study of the land snails of Ontario. University of Toronto Studies, Biological Series, 57: 1-128.

  • Roth, B. and D.R. Lindberg. 1981. Terrestrial mollusks of Attu, Aleutian Islands, Alaska. Arctic, 34(1): 43-47.

  • Roth, B. and P.S. Sadeghian. 2003. Checklist of the land snails and slugs of California. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Contributions in Science, 3: 1-81.

  • Turgeon, D.D., J.F. Quinn, Jr., A.E. Bogan, E.V. Coan, F.G. Hochberg, W.G. Lyons, P.M. Mikkelsen, R.J. Neves, C.F.E. Roper, G. Rosenberg, B. Roth, A. Scheltema, F.G. Thompson, M. Vecchione, and J.D. Williams. 1998. Common and scientific names of aquatic invertebrates from the United States and Canada: Mollusks. 2nd Edition. American Fisheries Society Special Publication 26, Bethesda, Maryland: 526 pp.

  • Woolstenhulme, J. 1942a. Uinta Mountain mollusks. The Nautilus 56: 50-55.

  • Woolstenhulme, J.P. 1942b. New records of Mollusca. Bulletin of the University of Utah. Salt Lake City, Utah. 14 pp.

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