Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Liguus fasciatus mating season end

Florida Tree Snails are hermaphroditic, meaning they have both male and female sexual organs. Hillis (1989) investigated with laboratory breeding and found that partial self-fertilization (a single clutch containing both self-fertilized and outcrossed eggs) does occur in L. fasciatus solidus. Their genetalia are located on the right side of the head and behind the antennae. The snail is sexually mature in their third year and they can locate mates by following slime trials (Brown, 1978). Mating occurs between the months of June and August with a 1-2 day courtship and then egg deposition occurs in the months of September and October (Jones, 1954). One to fifty eggs, which are a thin, elliptical, pale brown, calcareous shell, (Pilsbry, 1912) are deposited in the nests built in the leaf litter four to five centimeters deep (Voss, 1976). The eggs hatch the following April in concurrence with the beginning of the rainy season. Simpson (1929a) and Voss (1976 observed excessive numbers of dead snails soon after the egg laying period which reflects a high post reproductive mortality rate.
 Jason R. Fadely May 2009 "Population Distribution of Liguus fasciatus solidus in Long Pine Key of Everglades National Park."

 Photos © Juan C Aguero