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15 December 2022 Rocky Mountainsnails (Oreohelix strigosa) are Detritivores
Joseph S. Wilson, Michael R. Bernard
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Abstract

Rocky Mountainsnails in the genus Oreohelix go mostly unnoticed beneath layers of leaf litter in the Rocky Mountains and sky islands in the American intermountain west. Oreohelix strigosa (Gould, 1846) is one of the most widespread species in this genus, common in rocky foothill habitat that consists of high-density groves of deciduous maple or oak. While many people consider terrestrial snails as garden pests, many western snails are considered detritivores, feeding primarily on decomposing plant matter. As the trophic ecology of O. strigosa remains poorly understood, we investigated if O. strigosa is primarily a detritivore by providing three groups (10 snails) two food sources (Boxelder maple leaf litter and fresh romaine lettuce) and examining fecal matter. Our results indicate that O. strigosa primarily consumes leaf litter, highlighting that O. strigosa, and likely other Oreohelix snails, are detritivores. This insight should aid future conservation efforts as their habitat continues to be threatened by development.

Joseph S. Wilson and Michael R. Bernard "Rocky Mountainsnails (Oreohelix strigosa) are Detritivores," American Malacological Bulletin 39(1), 1-4, (15 December 2022). https://doi.org/10.4003/006.039.0104
Received: 29 September 2022; Accepted: 29 November 2022; Published: 15 December 2022
KEYWORDS
land snails
Oreohelicidae
snail diet
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