I recently received a copy of Land Snails and Slugs of the Pacific Northwest, by Thomas E. Burke. I was both pleased and disappointed with it.
I was pleased because finally here is a good field guide to terrestrial snails. I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of field guides to land snails anywhere in the United States that were published within the last fifty years. And I would have fingers left over. The photos are in color and of good quality, and as near as I can tell the keys are clear as well.
I was disappointed because the photos are mostly of empty shells. How much could you get out of a field guide to birds that only had pictures of the bird skeletons or feathers? Also, the range of the book does not quite cover my area.
Still, it is a start. Far better than what existed before this book was published.
You can’t really identify a snail without getting a good look at the shell from several angles.
Snails can be quite frustrating to study, and the lack of good field guides is only a part of the problem.