Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The distribution of terrestrial pest gastropods and their damage to agricultural crops in Kandy and Nuwara Eliya districts in Sri Lanka.

Abstract

An island wide survey from 1999 to 2002 in Sri Lanka highlighted the presence of 18 species of exotic snails and slugs, of which most were identified as pests of agriculture crops. However, since this survey, no studies on pest gastropods have been carried out in the country. Hence, the present study was carried out in Kandy and Nuwara Eliya districts in approximately 15 hectares of agricultural land to determine the current status of these gastropods. During the study, a total of 14 terrestrial gastropod species were recorded from agricultural lands of which eight species were recognized as exotic pest gastropods. They were Deroceras reticulatum, Laevicaulis altae, Mariaella dussumieri, Milax gagates, Lissachatina fulica, Bradybaena similaris, Allopeas gracile and Subulina octona. The damage from pest gastropods was observed in many crops and especially in the seedling or nursery stage plants. The highest damage to crops in Nuwara Eliya and Kandy districts were caused by D. reticulatum and Lissachatina fulica respectively. The study indicated that the distribution range of many of these pest gastropods, especially Laevicaulis altae and Lissachatina fulica has increased during the past fifteen years. Elevation is a key environmental factor that affects their distribution in these districts.