About this tool

Background and scope

Terrestrial Mollusk Tool was specifically designed to assist in the identification of adult terrestrial slugs and snails of agricultural importance. The tool also includes species of quarantine significance as well as invasive and contaminant mollusk species commonly intercepted at U.S. ports of entry. This Lucid-based identification tool is designed specifically to support federal, stateState:
The basic component or distinct phase of a Lucid feature or character that can be observed, measured, or otherwise assessed.
and other agencies or organizations within the U.S. that are concerned with the detection and identification of mollusks of significance. This tool covers 33 families and 128 species. This resource includes an interactive identification key, comparison chart, fact sheets, biological and ecological notes, a dissection tutorial, a glossary of commonly used terms, and a list of useful links and references. It should be noted that this dynamic tool is not inclusive of all mollusk pests, as new species of interest arise almost daily.

The list of species included in this tool was generated based on pest species reported in scholarly publications by Barker 2002, Cowie et al. 2009, and Godan 1983 as well as commonly intercepted species documented in the port of entry interception data from US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Plant Protection and Quarantine division (USDA APHIS PPQ) and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) - Division of Plant Industry.

The pictorial key included in Terrestrial Mollusk Tool is unable to identify a few entitiesEntities:
See also entity
below the family level. This is true especially for the families Veronicellidae and Succineidae. The major reason for this is the lack of diagnostic morphological characters and the variability of members of these groups. In many cases, it is recommended that molecular techniques be used in the identification of members of these families (Holland and Cowie 2007; Gomes et al. 2010). This inadequacy of the key is, however, mitigated by the fact that most if not all members of these problematic groups are pestiferous and as such are regulated at the family level. The same is true for the species complexes (e.g., Arion hortensis group, A. ater group) included in the tool.

Terrestrial Mollusk Tool was developed and published by the USDA APHIS PPQ Science and Technology Identification Technology Program (ITP) as part of a cooperative agreement between the Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida and USDA APHIS PPQ.

The photographs utilized in this tool were generously provided by those credited on each. The photographers and organizations that gave permission to use their images are also credited in the acknowledgements. All drawings were produced by the University of Florida, unless otherwise noted.

See Copyright, citation and disclaimers for information about the use of content on these pages and all the pages included in this tool. For information concerning Terrestrial Mollusk Tool or to offer any feedback or comments, please contact ITP, the author, or the Entomology and Nematology department at the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.