Galapagos land snail (Bulimulus akamatus)

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Group of Galapagos land snails, Bulimulus akamatus
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Galapagos land snail fact file

Galapagos land snail description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumMollusca
ClassGastropoda
OrderStylommatophora
FamilyBulimulidae
GenusBulimulus (1)

This Galápagos land snail species is one of many tiny endangered bulimulid snails endemic to the Galápagos Islands, which often go unnoticed due to their small size (the largest species only reaching 25 mm in length) and dull brown colours (2) (3). This species has a reddish-brown, conical, spiralled shell.

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Galapagos land snail biology

Nothing is known of this Galápagos land snail’s biology.

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Galapagos land snail range

Confined to the Galápagos Island of Santa Cruz, Ecuador (1). The species’ range is restricted to the arid and transition vegetation zones of this island (4).

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Galapagos land snail habitat

This species is mostly found under lava rocks and under the bark of Opuntia cacti (4).

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Galapagos land snail status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List 2006 (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable

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Galapagos land snail threats

Since their colonisation, the Galapagos Islands have experienced a dramatic decline of suitable habitat for land snails, as farming, road and house construction, and eventually tourism, grew (1) (2) (3). Several species are now extinct and, of those remaining, many are endangered (2). Grazing livestock (goats, pigs) and invasive alien plants have also altered the snail’s habitat (3) and, occasionally, the islands have suffered from uncontrolled fires, destroying habitat and snails alike (2). Additionally, introduced predators such as black rats (Rattus rattus) and little fire ants (Wasmania auropunctata) have had a direct impact on land snail populations by feeding on them and destroying their eggs (2).

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Galapagos land snail conservation

There are currently no conservation measures targeting this species.

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
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Authentication

Authenticated (13/02/2007) by Christine Parent, Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University.
http://www.sfu.ca/~cparent/index.htm

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Glossary

Bulimulid
Of the Bulimulidae family.
Endemic
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List (October, 2006)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org
  2. Coppois, G. (1998) Invertebrate research overview: 2. The endemic land snails. Bulletin De L'institut Royal Des Sciences Naturelles De Belgique, 70. Available at:
    http://www.darwinfoundation.org/articles/br15049806.html
  3. Parent, C.E. and Smith, R.P. (2006) Galápagos Bulimulids: Status report on a devastated fauna. Tentacle: Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Mollusc Specialist Group, 14: 25 - 27. Available at:
    http://www.hawaii.edu/cowielab/Tentacle/Tentacle%2014%20(Cowie%202005).pdf#search=%22Bulimulus%20reibischi%22
  4. Parent, C. (2007) Pers. comm.
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Image credit

Group of Galapagos land snails, Bulimulus akamatus  
Group of Galapagos land snails, Bulimulus akamatus

© Christine Parent

Christine Parent
Department of Biological Sciences
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby
BC
V5A 1S6
Canada
Tel: +01 (604) 291 5625
Fax: +01 (604) 291 3496
cparent@sfu.ca
http://www.sfu.ca/~cparent/

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