Cochlicella Barbara

Biological Name

Cochlicella Barbara, also Prietocella barbara

Common Name

Small pointed snail

Other Common Name

Small conical snail
Banded conical snail


About 8-12mm in length and 5-8mm wide, whitish, or grey/yellow shell, with brown spots or bands. Seven or eight whorls. The shell is carried in a near-vertical position.

Other similar species

C. acuta

Biological Notes

Capable of rapid reproduction, the snail’s small size means it is commonly spread through transporting infested plants, or in other goods consignments. Conical snails generally activate post-aestivation later than round snails. The first heavy rainfall of autumn triggers mating, but timing varies between regions and seasons. Their lifecycle can be either annual or biennial.

Geographical Distribution

European coastal regions around the Mediterranean area. Also widely introduced to other countries in Europe, and present as an invasive species in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. 


Originally coastal areas but now more widespread into grassland, gardens, pasture and cultivated areas. More prevalent in areas of high rainfall, usually more than 500mm annually.

Damage Caused/Symptoms

Causes severe damage to grain and oilseed production; defoliation after emergence is not uncommon. In Australia, it’s a pest of legume pastures, such as alfalfa, lucerne and clover, and oilseed rape.

But major pest status is accorded owing to their size; they’re seen as a contaminant of grain (both cereals and oilseed rape) during harvest, which can result in consignments being downgraded on quality, or even rejected. Their habit of climbing vegetation increases this risk.

Crops at Risk

Cereals, oilseed rape, legumes and pastures.

The snail is also considered a vector for the nematode that causes sheep lungworm.

Impact and Severity

Cochlicella Barbara is listed as a harmful organism by Chile, Japan and the Republic of Korea. It has a pest rating of B from the Californian Department of Food and Agriculture and classified as an agricultural pest in Australia.

Prevention and Control

Early season monitoring is essential. The species is best controlled through a combination of cultural and chemical control.

Natural Predators

Predatory ground beetles.