The recurring invasive land snail Cornu aspersum (O. F. Müller, 1774)

A dense population of Cornu aspersum megalostomum (O. F. Müller, 1774) found on an exterior wall in Givat Ram (Hebrew University of Jerusalem).
Considered to be one of the most important edible snails in the Mediterranean, the biogeographic distribution of Cornu aspersum has been heavily controlled by human activity throughout its existence. The species was first introduced to the Levant by the Romans, who considered it an important food source for troops. Modern specimens belonging to the subspecies Cornu aspersum aspersum were introduced to San Simon Monastery in the 1980’s presumably by the monks, who brought them from Crete as a ‘fasting treat’ during the Great Lent. Elsewhere in Jerusalem and throughout Israel the subspecies Cornu aspersum megalostomum has become very common in gardens and parks. The main source of this new distribution is the presence of the subspecies in tree nurseries.

 

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