Plants and Animals

Mediappendix gelida A land snail (no common name)

Key Characteristics

The shell of species in the genus Catinella is generally less than .4 inches in length, with a long spire and large aperature. Catinella gelida shells are of a yellowish-green color with strong growth lines. Currently known only as a Pleistocene fossil. There is some question as to whether Catinella gelida represents a valid taxon or isolated populations of another species (Catinella wandae) (Nekola 2003b).

Status and Rank

US Status: No Status/Not Listed
State Status: T - Threatened (legally protected)
Global Rank: G1Q - Critically imperiled. Questionable taxonomy that may reduce conservation priority
State Rank: SH - Possibly extirpated


CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed

Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


All possible Catinella gelida populations found in the Great Lakes region have been limited to carbonate cliffs (Nekola 2003b).

Natural Community Types

For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Management Recommendations

This species requires additional research in order for effective management practices to be put into place, as very little is currently known. The wide variety of land snail species that rely on limestone cliff ecosystems can be best protected through habitat conservation and limiting impacts from recreation in key areas. Unchecked rock climbing has negative impacts on snail communities through the degradation of lichens and other plant groups (McMillan et al. 2003). Snail management should include the protection of certian important cliff areas.

Survey Methods

As visual detection of this species is difficult, specimens are collected by litter sampling in suitable habitat. Samples are thoroughly heat-dried, soaked in water for a number of hours to separate the various components, and finally passed through a series of sieves. The shells are then able to be hand-picked from the remaining sample material (Nekola 2003).

Litter sampling

Survey Period: From first week of April to first week of October

Time of Day: Daytime


Survey References

  • Nekola, J.C. 2003. Large-scale terrestrial gastropod community composition patterns in the Great Lakes region of North America. Diversity and Distributions 9:55-71.

Technical References

  • Burch, J.B. 1962. How to Know the Eastern Land Snails. William C. Brown Company Publishers, Dubuque. 214 pp.
  • McMillan, M.A., J.C. Nekola, and D.W. Larson. 2003. Effects of Rock Climbing on the Land Snail Community of the Niagara Escarpment in Southern Ontario, Canada. Conservation Biology 17(2):616-21.
  • Nekola, J.C. 2003b. Terrestrial gastropod fauna of Northeastern Wisconsin and the Southern Upper Peninsula of Michigan. American Malacological Bulletin 18(1/2).