White-lipped snail

White-lipped Snail

White-lipped Snail ©Nick Upton/2020VISION

White-lipped snail

Scientific name: Cepaea hortensis
The White-lipped snail comes in different colour forms, but always has a white band around the opening of its shell. It prefers damp spots in wide range of habitats, from gardens to grasslands, woods to hedges.

Species information


Diameter: 1.6-2.2cm

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


The White-lipped snail is similar in appearance to the Brown-lipped Snail, but is generally smaller and has a white band around the edge of the shell opening, rather than a brown one. The White-lipped Snail lives in a variety of damp habitats, including gardens, hedgerows, woodland, grassland, wasteland, sand dunes and clifftops. It prefers to eat nettles, Ragwort and Hogweed.

How to identify

The White-lipped snail varies in colour, but is typically yellow or pinkish. It has up to five brown bands around the whorl of the shell. It can be identified by the white branding around the lip of its shell, which distinguishes it from the similar Brown-lipped snail.



Did you know?

White-lipped snails are hermaphrodites, so have organs of both sexes. However, they need to mate in order for each snail to fertilise their own eggs. They then bury their eggs in soil.

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try planting native plants and trees to entice birds, mammals and invertebrates into your backyard? To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.