Abundance and Diversity of Snails in Various Agroecosystems in District Multan, Pakistan

Document Type : Original Article


1 1-Department of Entomology, College of Plant Protection, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China

2 2-Institute of Plant Protection, MNS. University of Agriculture, Multan, Pakistan

3 3-State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Disease and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100193, China

4 4-Department of Zoology Wildlife and Fisheries, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan

5 5-Department of Biology, Govt. Degree College, Akbarpura, Nowshera, Pakistan

6 6-Department of Zoology. Government College University, Faisalabad


Snails are the second largest group of invertebrates after insects and make a major part of the world's fauna. There are 35,000 described species of land snails (subclass: Pulmonata) from class gastropods in the world. With the present scenario of climate change, their occurrence has been observed many-fold. Despite their economic importance, population diversity and distribution of these creatures on different host crops in Punjab Pakistan is not much more studies. For this purpose, the present study was conducted to identify the snail species and their diversity on different hosts in the agroecosystems of Multan. The snails were collected from different crops like wheat, vegetable (spinach), fodder, citrus orchard, and plant nurseries. A total of 8264 specimens were collected and preserved in the form of a dry shell and 70% alcohol in Ecology Lab, MNS - the University of Agriculture, Multan for identification purpose. The preserved specimens were identified under microscope using available taxonomic keys. Ariophanta bistrialis ceylanica, Ariophanta bistrialis cylix, Ariophanta solata, Oxychilus draparnaudi, Monacha catiana, Cernuella virgata, Pupoides abilabris and Oxyloma elegans were identified during the study. The highest and lowest population of Ariophanta bistrialis cylix (1592) and Ariophanta solata (446), respectively was recorded. The population diversity was found maximum in plant nurseries followed by fodder crop (Berseem) and citrus orchard while least in vegetable (Spinach) and wheat crop. The maximum population was found in July and August, while least in March and May. In the rainy season, the population of snails was recorded maximum as compared to the dry season.