|A live individual of the decollate snail|
The decollate snail, scientific name Rumina decollata, is a medium-sized predatory land snail, a species of terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Subulinidae. It is a European species that has been introduced in a number of areas worldwide.
It is introduced in Israel and in Egypt since Roman times. It has been introduced into North America, including Phoenix and Glendale, Arizona, and other areas as a biological control agent, in hopes of controlling populations of the brown garden snail.
- Great Britain, as a "hothouse alien"
The shell of the decollate snail is long and roughly cone-shaped. It grows to approximately 40 mm in length, and upon reaching mature size, grinds or chips off the end of its own shell by moving its body roughly against hard surfaces, so that the shell takes on a decollate shape, tapering to a blunt end.
Rumina decollata is a voracious predator, and feeds readily upon common garden snails and slugs and their eggs. The snail eats plant matter as well, but the damage it causes to plants is considered minor when compared with the benefit of its predation on garden snails and other pest species of snails. Unfortunately it will also consume harmless local species of land gastropods, and beneficial annelids.
Decollate snails are tolerant of dry and cold conditions, during which they burrow deep into the soil. They are most active during the night and during rainfall.
- Linnaeus C. 1758. Systema naturae per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. pp. [1-4], 1-824. Holmiae. (Salvius).
- Mienis H. K. (2003). "A new colony of Rumina saharica discovered in Israel". Tentacle 11: 11-12.
- Commonwealth of Australia. 2002 (April) Citrus Imports from the Arab Republic of Egypt. A Review Under Existing Import Conditions for Citrus from Israel. Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Australia. Caption: Gastropods, page 12 and Appendix 2.
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