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Preliminary report on the terrestrial malacofauna of Puerto Rico and associated islands.



There has been no comprehensive inventory of the malacofauna of the island of Puerto Rico since Henry van der Schalie's 1948 book, and none on the islands of Culebra, and Vieques. Carlos Aguayo created a checklist of Puerto Rican snails and slugs in 1966, with a number of undescribed species. The snails of the islands of Mona and Monito were inventoried by Fred Thompson in 1987. Little work has been done in the US Virgin Islands. Since van der Schalie's work, Puerto Rico has undergone considerable change, and in many if not most of the area has been drastically altered by human activity, including deforestation, agriculture, and urbanization. Many of the native or endemic species' distributions have been greatly diminished, and the ranges of invasive and synanthropic species have expanded to replace them. Since the discovery of the giant African snail (Lissachatina fulica) in Guadeloupe in 1984, it became necessary to make an inventory of the native species throughout the West Indies before the inevitable spread of this serious pest.
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The presence of alien mollusc species in an ecosystem has a negative impact on the endemic mollusc fauna and can result in economic losses. The West African land snail Tomostele musaecola (Morelet) was previously recorded from numerous localities in the Western Hemisphere. In this paper, we provide a new locality of this malacophagous snail in the Dominican Republic. The species is recorded from an urban park named Parque Ecológico Las Caobas in the province of San Cristóbal. In order to update the current distribution of T. musaecola in the Americas we examined the literature and the online database of the Invertebrate Zoology Collection of the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH); when available, citizen science data were also used. A map is provided to illustrate the current distribution of the species in the Americas. The total number of records in the Western Hemisphere is 51, and 26 of them are part of this review. More studies are needed on the interaction of this species with the native land snails. Trade and planting of ornamental species in urban parks facilitate the establishment and expansion of alien molluscs.
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