Guerrero Spagnuoli J., Dop N.S., Pizá J.

Rumina decollata is native to the Mediterranean region but has a worldwide distribution due to accidental or voluntary introductions in several countries of Asia, Africa and America. Its biological characteristics (facultative self-fertilization, high reproductive potential, omnivory and xeroresistance) favored the establishment and colonization in new environments. In Argentina, it was reported in 1988 in Buenos Aires city and had expanded its distribution in the central region. It is considered an invasive species and crop pest in several countries and, although the impact on natural systems is poorly studied, there is evidence that R. decollata could negatively affect native fauna. Besides, it was established that R. decollata is a potential host of the cat parasites Toxocara cati and Aelurostrongylus abstrusus. Therefore, R. decollata could affect biodiversity, agriculture and health. The aim of our study was to update the distribution of R. decollata in Argentina, get information about the impact of this species, and obtain live snail samples for genetic studies. We carried out a citizen science project, publishing a survey on social media asking the general public to inform the location and additional data such as habitat, food preferences, weather conditions, and damage caused. As a result, we got over 600 responses which revealed that it inhabits a broad area of Argentina (16 provinces from Misiones to Patagonia) with 70.61% of the records from Buenos Aires province. Regarding habitat, 82% reported it in peridomiciliary places mainly associated with vegetation (51.2%) and humid conditions (75.2% in rainy days). Concerning food preferences, 33.16% mentioned it consumed plants and 20.19%, cat and dog feces. Our data revealed that Rumina decollata is spreading fast in our country. Biological and genetic studies are needed to determine its potential as an invasive species.


  1. Thaks for excellent reserch, citizen science is powerful tool! I have one question, it is possible that this snail dispers by zoochory? By flying? Our data confirmed possibility of endodispersion similar snails in gut of birds – see paper Simonová, J., Simon, O.P., Kapic, Š., Nehasil, L., Horsák, M. (2016) Medium-sized forest snails survive passage through birds’ digestive tract and adhere strongly to birds’ legs: more evidence for passive dispersal mechanisms. Journal of Molluscan Studies 82 (3): 422-426 in my research gate. Ondrej

    1. Hello, thaks for your comment.
      As it has been reported mainly in gardens and according to the comments of the people surveyed, we think that the main route of dispersal is through ornamental plants and gardening supplies (black earth, vermicompost, flowerpots). However, the zoochory is a very interesting possibility to explore.

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