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A female rove beetle (Ocypus olens Müller) in the laboratory consumed 20 small-sized brown garden snails (Helix aspersa Müller) in 22 days, eating almost its weight in snail bodies daily. H. aspersa is a serious agricultural and residential plant pest. Field observations from an area where O. olens was well established had a smaller snail population than similar areas lacking the beetle. O. olens appears to be a promising candidate species for biological control of H. aspersa. Mass production of O. olens has not yet been attempted. A tabular key to the nearctic species of Ocypus is presented. In North America its distribution is limited to California for which a map is included.