Tag Archives: helicidae

Cornu aspersum as pest

A brief paper by Ruiz-Galván et al. (2918) described how in Mexico a non-native population of Cornu aspersum (O.F. Müller, 1774) developed since 2013 into a pest on apple trees. Although the authors have not found a specific reason for this, their paper shows an effective counter-tactic.

Schermafbeelding 2019-04-08 om 13.35.08

Ruiz-Galván, I. et al., 2018. Helix aspersa (Stylommatophora: Helicidae) plaga emergente de la manzana (Malus spp.) en Guerrero, Chihuahua. – Acta Zoológica Mexicana (n.s.) 34: e3412161 (5 pp.).

A snail with an U-loop

Cornu aspersum (O.F. Müller, 1774) is a common European snail with a ground colour of yellowish brown , and mostly with some darker spiral bands and irregular light and dark blotches (Jansen, 2015). Recently in a Dutch zoo a new tropical greenhouse was installed with plants imported from Costa Rica. Herman Creemers sent me a picture of snails collected in this greenhouse (on the right side), together with some specimens from the Netherlands (on the left side). He wondered if this species was known from Costa Rica or not.


Barrientos (2003) has given an overview of Costa Rican species and said: “El escargot, Helix aspersa [the old name], fue introducido has más de 100 años y está restringido a jardines urbanos en San José”; the species is thus more than a century present in Costa Rica, but still restricted to gardens in the capital. The different coloration of shells presumably originating from Costa Rica, imported together with plants, is somewhat different. This might be due to the prolonged isolation, but only detailed DNA research could tell whether some divergence has occurred or not.

Barrientos, Z., 2003. Estado actual del conocimiento y la conservación de los moluscos continetales de Costa Rica. – Revista de Biologia Tropical 51, Supplemento 3: 285–292.
Jansen, A.W., 2015. Veldgis slakken en mossels. Zeist, KNNV, 272 pp.

Mixed new literature

This post is about some recent new papers, very mixed with subjects related to the Neotropics.

The first one is a brief paper with a new species of Cyclodontina from Brazil by Salvador & Simone (2014), viz. C. tapuia from Bahia, Bom Jesus da Lapa.


Araya (2015) just published an update on invasive snails in Chile. The abstract reads: “A new introduced species, Otala punctata (Müller, 1774) and new records in Chile for Cornu aspersum (Müller, 1774) and Deroceras laeve (Müller, 1774) are documented based on surveys carried out in northern and central areas of the country. The presence and distribution of these alien species are complemented with a comprehensive compilation of all 34 non-indigenous species of marine, freshwater and terrestrial Mollusca in Chile; until 1999, only 16 alien species were known in Chile. Most of these alien species are found exclusively in transformed habitats, few exist in natural environments. The mechanism of introduction for the majority of these non-indigenous species is unknown; however, horticultural development, urban and suburban transformation of original natural habitats, and the aquarium trade are the most likely pathways of introduction. The highest threat of alien species is direct competition and predation of native molluscs, especially the small native land gastropods. Education and continuous field surveys are vital to detect and prevent their propagation as well as to avoid introduction of additional alien taxa”.

Finally, there is a brief paper by Hausdorff (2015) who shows that misidentifications can lead to faunal misallocations, in this case a Neotropical Bulimulus species was classified as a Palearctic Enidae.


Araya, J.F., 2015. Current status of the non-indigenous mollusks in Chile, with the first record of Otala punctata (Müller, 1774) (Gastropoda: Helicidae) in the country and new records for Cornu aspersum (Müller, 1774) and Deroceras laeve (Müller, 1774). – Journal of Natural History (advance online access: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00222933.2015.1006703).
Hausdorf, B., 2015. The supposed Transcaucasian endemic Adzharia renschi Hesse, 1933 is a South American Bulimulus species (Gastropoda, Bulimulidae). – Malacologia 58: 363-364.
Salvador, R.B. & Simone, L.R.L., 2014. New species of Cyclodontina from Bahia, Brazil (Gastropoda, Odontostomidae). – Iheringia Zoologia 104: 484-487.

Alien species in South America

Alien species get more and more attention. In some countries, like at the moment in Brazil (http://tudoglobal.com/blog/editorias/73850/pais-se-preocupam-com-surto-de-meningite.html?doing_wp_cron), Lissachatina fulica is a real pest, causing public health problems, and under public debate. However, there are several other species which remain less noticed because they have less economic impact. 

Rumi et al. (2010) have made a summary of all records in literature from a number of South American countries. They found 42 species of terrestrial gastropods recorded. On the basis of museum collections, they were able to add several records for 8 species from Argentina, one from Colombia, and one from Peru. Thus, although the title of their paper focusses on Theba pisana in Argentina, it is of a much wider scope.

Rumi, A., S??nchez, J., & Ferrando, N.S., 2010. Theba pisana (M??ller, 1774) (Gastropoda, Helicidae) and other alien land molluscs species in Argentina. – Biological Invasions 12: 2985-2990.