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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Freshwater snails (Mollusca: Gastropoda) from the Commonwealth of Dominica with a discussion of their roles in the transmission of parasites

Authors
item Reeves, Will
item Dillion, Jr, Robert - COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON
item Dasch, Gregory - CTR. FOR DISEASE CONTROL

Submitted to: AMERICAN MALACOLOGICAL SOCIETY BULLETIN
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 10, 2007
Publication Date: March 17, 2008
Repository URL: http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/32351/PDF
Citation: Reeves, W.K., Dillion, Jr, R.T., Dasch, G.A. 2008. Freshwater snails (Mollusca: Gastropoda) from the Commonwealth of Dominica with a discussion of their roles in the transmission of parasites. American Malacological Society Bulletin. Vol 24: p. 59-63.

Interpretive Summary: We collected six species of freshwater snails from the Commonwealth of Dominica, West Indies. Two of these snails had not previously been reported from Dominica but are known to live in other Caribbean Islands. We identified a probable misidentification of a snail known to transmit blood flukes. We discuss the veterinary and medically significant parasites that can be transmitted by these snails. We tested snails for the agent of Potomac horse sickness, but found none that were infected.

Technical Abstract: We collected six species of freshwater snails from Dominica, including Biomphalaria kuhniana, Gundlachia radiata Helisoma (= Planorbella) trivolvis, Melanoides tuberculata, Neritina punctulata, and Physa marmorata. Our collections indicate that un-reported species such as Gundlachia radiata and Helisoma trivolvis are established on Dominica. We tested a limited number of M. tuberculata for Neorickettsia spp. but did not identify this agent. Three species of snails previously reported from Dominica, Biomphalaria glabrata, Biomphalaria straminea, and Thiara granifera, were not collected. Our data suggest that B. glabrata has not re-emerged as a prominent component of the freshwater snail fauna since it disappeared or was locally eradicated. In addition, previous reports of B. straminea were probably misidentifications of B. kuhniana, and some abnormally large specimens of M. tuberculata from Freshwater Lake could be misidentified as T. granifera. Our sampling was not adequate to demonstrate that T. granifera was absent from Dominica. We determined that B. kuhniana was not eradicated by previous mollusk control regimes. Additional studies on the relationships of freshwater snails in Dominica to helminths of animals and humans are needed to understand the public and veterinary health significance of these snails.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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