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Georgia Journal of Science

Abstract

Because of their high ecological and conservation value, and because we know so little about the group, we compiled a systematic if tentative list of land snails from the state of Georgia. After gleaning a list of species from a monograph on the land snails of eastern United States, written by Leslie Hubricht in 1985, we realized that many species whose ecological requirements are found in Georgia had not been documented there. Therefore, we developed a qualitative model to predict the likelihood that these candidate species occur in Georgia and would eventually be documented. We tested the model with collections data from nine natural history museums and found that the model nonrandomly predicted the species that were collected after the publication of Hubricht’s work. Our searches revealed 214 species of land snails collected in Georgia that exist in museums. Our model predicted that another 68 species are likely occur in the state and await documentation. There are at least 10 species of exotic snails within Georgia’s borders, some of them invasive. We consider our list of land snails in Georgia tentative but useful because of our systematic approach. It is our hope that more researchers will consider Georgia land snails as a model for studying systematics, evolution, ecology, and conservation.

Acknowledgements

We thank Shayla Scott for help with building our database. Thanks to the following individuals for sharing museum data: Adam Baldinger, Clarissa Bey, Rudiger Bieler, Cheryl Bright, Brian Helms, Christine Johnson, Timothy Pearce, Gary Rosenburg, Leslie Skibinski, John Slapcinsky, Jamie Smith, and Lee Taehwan. Timothy Pearce, Kathryn Perez, Amy VanDevender, Wayne VanDevender and John Slapcinsky helped tremendously with sorting out taxonomic issues. Helpful reviews were provided by the VanDevenders as well as John Slapcinsky.

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