Galapagos land snail (Bulimulus nux)

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Galapagos land snails, Bulimulus nux, on fallen tree
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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 dark brownish-black, conical, spiralled shell, streaked with a rusty reddish brown.

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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

Just four subpopulations are known from the Galápagos Islands of San Cristóbal and Floreana (1), in the highlands (4).

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Galapagos land snail habitat

Specimens have mainly been found on trunks, often under bark, and in leaf litter (1).

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Galapagos land snail status

Classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List 2006 (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Endangered

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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). Both San Cristóbal and Floreana have been badly affected and each now has more than five bulimulid species categorized as Critically Endangered or Endangered on the IUCN Red List, as well as several previously recorded species that are now extinct (3). 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). Established populations of the invasive little fire ant are known to exist on San Cristóbal and Floreana (1).

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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

Galapagos land snails, Bulimulus nux, on fallen tree  
Galapagos land snails, Bulimulus nux, on fallen tree

© 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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