Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

FNZ 38 - Barker, G. M. 1999 Naturalised terrestrial Stylommatophora (Mollusca: Gastropoda)

Barker, GM 1999. Naturalised terrestrial Stylommatophora (Mollusca: Gastropoda). Fauna of New Zealand 38, 253 pages.
( ISSN 0111-5383 (print), ; no. 38. ISBN 0-478-09322-5 (print), ). Published 25 Jan 1999


New Zealand has a large and phylogenetically diverse indigenous terrestrial mollusc fauna, most species of which are dependent on undisturbed forest or tussock grassland as habitat. In species number and sympatric diversity, the New Zealand indigenous terrestrial mollusc fauna is among the richest in the world per unit land area (Solem et al. 1981, Solem 1984b, Emberton 1994a), with an estimated 1350 species. This indigenous terrestrial fauna contains one neritopsinan family (Hydrocenidae) and one caenogastropod family (Liareidae) but, as in most other regions of the world, is dominated by stylommatophoran Pulmonata.

The indigenous fauna is supplemented by a small and continually expanding naturalised fauna of Stylommatophora, which is the focus of this publication. These naturalised species are the slugs and snails familiar to the general public. There is little appreciation, however, of the number and phylogenetic diversity of species represented in the naturalised fauna, or of the extent to which they have pervaded the New Zealand landscape. They form an important element of the New Zealand biota, particularly in modified habitats.

The naturalised terrestrial mollusc fauna currently comprises 29 species, representing no less than 15 families of Stylommatophora. These species originate in Europe, North America, or the Pacific, although some may have been introduced secondarily from stock first naturalised elsewhere (Barker 1992). The species established in New Zealand are those which are synanthropes in their native range, with great propensity for passive dispersal, and which have been widely distributed through the activities of man.

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