Tropical snails in Dutch hothouses

This video is called The World’s 7 Most Amazing Snails.

Translated from the botanical garden in Leiden, the Netherlands:

Snails in the tropical greenhouses of the Hortus Botanicus Leiden

On December 9th two students Mattia Trivellato and Luca Da Sois defended their bachelor thesis on the topic “Snails in the tropical greenhouses of the Hortus Botanicus Leiden” at the University of Padua [in Italy]. Botanical gardens play an important role in the introduction of exotic species from other countries through plant exchange between different institutions. Plants collected during research expeditions can also be carriers of snails or their eggs and even water tanks or soil from compost may be a cause of the intrusion of unwanted species.

Snails may be dangerous because they can cause damage to plants through feeding. Indirectly, they may also do damage by the transfer of new diseases. The students have done research to find out the occurrence of snails in the tropical greenhouses of snails and to identify them. In a period of three months the students have collected thousands of individuals which belong to at least fifty-two species. Twenty-seven were found to be endemic species and as many as fifteen species were alien species.

In a comparison with other collections, they found seven similar species. This indicates that these species pose a higher risk to spread easily. However, the students experienced during their research in literature and the collection of Naturalis that seven species can be added to the risk group. This study shows that in our greenhouses in temperate climates a numerous snail fauna can accommodate. Where they occur in the different compartments is probably due to the difference of soils, climate and which plants are being cultivated.

21 thoughts on “Tropical snails in Dutch hothouses

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