Regular issues
Special Issues

Southeastern Naturalist
    SENA Home
    Range and Scope
    Board of Editors
    Editorial Workflow
    Publication Charges

Other EH Journals
    Northeastern Naturalist
    Caribbean Naturalist
    Urban Naturalist
    Eastern Paleontologist
    Eastern Biologist
    Journal of the North Atlantic

EH Natural History Home

First Records for Discus rotundatus and a Feral Population of Oxychilus draparnaudi (Gastropoda) from Washington, DC
Brent W. Steury and Ian W. Steury

Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 10, Issue 1 (2011): 193–195

Full-text pdf (Accessible only to subscribers.To subscribe click here.)


Site by Bennett Web & Design Co.
First Records for Discus rotundatus and a Feral Population of Oxychilus draparnaudi (Gastropoda) from Washington, DC Brent W. Steury1,* and Ian W. Steury1 Abstract - The European land snails Discus rotundatus and Oxychilus draparnaudi were found in Washington, DC at Oxon Cove in March 2010. These constitute the first records of feral populations of these non-native species in the District of Columbia. The native range of the land snail Discus rotundatus (Müller) (Rotund Disc) extends throughout western and central Europe (Kerney and Cameron 1979) to northern Africa (Algeria) (Pilsbry 1948); however, this common and evidentially adaptable snail has expanded its range to include European countries as far north as Finland (Kerney and Cameron 1979), as far east as Turkey (Örstan 2003), and on the Balearic Island of Mallorca (Altaba 1996). An adventive species in North America, it has been collected in Canada in British Columbia, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Ontario and in the United States in California, Massachusetts, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington (Dundee 1974, Hanna 1966, NatureServe 2009, Pearce 2008). Örstan (2003) reported that all previous collections of D. rotundatus outside its native range were from gardens, greenhouses, or (manicured) parks and surmised that this species is being transported in soil or with plant nursery stock. On 27 March 2010, we made the first collection of D. rotundatus (Fig. 1) from the District of Columbia—records based on reviews of Dundee (1974) and Grimm (1971)—under two rotting logs 20 m apart on a capped landfill along the northern bank of Oxon Cove, approximately 110 m west of the Maryland state line (38o48'37"N 77o01'00"W). The site is covered by young woodland dominated by Acer negundo L. (Box-elder) and an understory of the non-native shrub Lonicera maackii (Rupr.) Herder. (Amur Honeysuckle). The herb layer contains low, wet pockets of the nonnative grass Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. (Common Reed), and the non-native herb Alliaria petiolata (M. Bieb.) Cavara & Grande (Garlic Mustard) is common on higher ground. The landfill contains abundant concrete debris, perhaps giving the soils a more basic pH than would otherwise be expected in this area. The fill material for the landfill is reportedly all from the District of Columbia area (Stephen Syphax, National Park Service, National Capital Parks–East, Washington, D.C., Pers. Comm.). This collection represents the southernmost occurrence of D. rotundatus in the eastern United States. We counted 3 empty shells and 51 live animals of D. rotundatus and deposited 5 shells in the Museum Resource Center (MRC) in Landover, MD (B.W. Steury and I.W. Steury, 100327.1). The largest shell measured 6.1 mm at the widest diameter. The most common, widespread snail on the site was Oxychilus draparnaudi (Beck) (Dark-bodied Glass-snail), (Fig. 2), a species native to Western Europe and the Mediterranean (Kerney and Cameron 1979), with feral populations reported from 13 states in the US (Frest and Rhodes 1982). This is the first record of a feral population within the District of Columbia, based on records in Frest and Rhodes (1982); however, Soelner (1902) reported finding this species in a greenhouse in the District of Columbia. This snail was also commonly found on the Maryland side of the landfill (38o48'46"N 77o00'29"W), representing the first record for Prince Georges County, and the southernmost occurrence 18316 Woodacre Street, Alexandria, VA 22308. *Corresponding author - Brent_Steury@NPS. GOV. Notes of the Southeastern Nat u ral ist, Issue 10/1, 2011 193 194 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 10, No. 1 in Maryland according to Grimm (1971). We found 30 empty shells of this snail and observed five live animals with dark-blue coloration. Fresh shells were dark amber colored with a rapidly widening last whorl and well-defined growth-lines, and measured up to 12.7 mm at the widest diameter. The shell size, shape, and sculpture, and the color of the animal and shell fit well with descriptions for O. draparnaudi given in Burch (1962), Frest and Rhodes (1982), Kerney and Cameron (1979), and Pilsbry (1948), as compared with the closely allied O. cellarius (Müller) (Cellar Glass-snail), which rarely exceeds Figure 1. Discus rotundatus (MRC 100327.1) from Oxon Cove, District of Columbia,, collected 27 March 2010. Scale bar is in mm. Figure 2. Oxychilus draparnaudi (MRC 100327.2) from Oxon Cove, District of Columbia, collected 27 March 2010. Scale bar is in mm. 2011 Southeastern Naturalist Notes 195 9 mm and typically is a paler animal with a lighter colored shell, narrower last whorl, and scarcely visible growth-lines. Six shells from the District of Columbia and six additional shells from Maryland were deposited at MRC (100327.2 and 100327.3, respectively). Other snails found on the landfill include the first Prince Georges County, MD record for Cochlicopa lubrica (Müller) (Glossy Pillar), according to the records of Grimm (1971) and Hubricht (1985). The C. lubrica specimen is deposited at MRC (100327.4). One empty shell of C. lubrica was found under a board with a mouse nest which also contained shells of O. draparnaudi, Mesodon thyroidus (Say) (White-lip Globe Snail), and Ventridens ligera (Say) (Globose Dome). A total of 11 empty shells of V. ligera and 13 shells of M. thyroidus were found over the landfill site. Literature Cited Altaba, C.R. 1996. Presence of Discus rotundatus (Gastropoda, Endodontidae) on the island of Mallorca. Miscellània Zoològica 19:51–54. Burch, J.B. 1962. How to Know the Eastern Land Snails. Wm.C. Brown Company Publishers, Dubuque, IA. 214 pp. Dundee, D.S. 1974. Catalog of introduced mollusks of eastern North America (north of Mexico). Sterkiana 55:1–37. Frest, T.J., and R.S. Rhodes II. 1982. Oxychilus draparnaldi in Iowa. The Nautilus 96:36–39. Grimm, F.W. 1971. Annotated checklist of the land snails of Maryland and the District of Columbia. Sterkiana 41:51–57. Hanna, G.D. 1966. Introduced mollusks of western North America. Occasional Papers of the California Academy of Science 48. 108 pp. Hubricht, L. 1985. The distributions of the native land mollusks of the eastern United States. Fieldiana: Zoology, New Series 24:1–191. Kerney, M.P., and R.A.D. Cameron. 1979. A Field Guide to the Land Snails of Britain and Northwest Europe. Collins, London, UK. 288 pp. NatureServe. 2009. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, VA. Available online at Accessed 29 March 2010. Örstan, A. 2003. The first record of Discus rotundatus from Turkey. Triton 7:27. Pearce, T.A. 2008. Land snails of limestone communities and an update of land snail distributions in Pennsylvania. Final report for grant agreement WRCP-04016. Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, PA. Pilsbry, H.A. 1948. Land Mollusca of North America (North of Mexico). Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia Monographs 3(2, part 2):521–1113. Soelner, G.W.H. 1902. Vitrea draparnaldi, Beck, in Washington, DC. Nautilus 16:94–95.