Predominance of a single phylogenetic species in colonization events among a sextet of decollate land snail, Rumina decollata (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Subulinidae), species
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Engineering sciences. Technology
Genome. - Ottawa
, p. 161-167
University of Antwerp
The hermaphroditic, facultatively selfing, land snail Rumina decollata is a common, widespread species that is indigenous to the Mediterranean region and that has been introduced to many other regions of the world. However, recent DNA sequence analyses have indicated that R. decollata is a complex of several phylogenetic species, two of which correspond to previously distinguished allozyme strains with different body colors (light vs. dark) and life history characteristics. Against this background, this paper attempts to identify which of these phylogenetic species have been introduced elsewhere in the world. Based on a comparative DNA sequence analysis of putatively introduced populations from South America, North America, Japan, and the North Atlantic Islands versus native Mediterranean populations, it is shown that all putatively introduced populations belong to a single phylogenetic species that was previously recognized as the dark morph. Hence, the colonizing and invasive character of R. decollata seems to be due to this phylogenetic species. Nevertheless, in its native area the dark morph is supposed to be outcompeted when sympatric with the light morph of R. decollata. This issue is briefly discussed and the Iberian Peninsula is tentatively proposed as an important source for introduced R. decollata populations outside Europe.