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Notodiscus (Charopidae) on South Georgia: some implications of shell size, shell shape, and site isolation in a singular sub-Antarctic land snail

  • P.J.A. Pugh (a1) and R.I. Lewis Smith (a2)

Abstract

Multivariate analysis shows that shells of Notodiscus sp. (Charopidae: Pulmonata) reported from South Georgia are smaller and proportionately taller than, but otherwise similar to, populations of Notodiscus hookeri (Reeve) from Iles Crozet and Iles Kerguelen. The origin of this solitary, and spatially limited, South Georgia population is enigmatic. It is confined to a remarkably small coastal lowland site which was glaciated at Last Glacial Maximum, precluding a Tertiary relict origin, and on the leeward north-east coast, ruling out post-glacial ocean rafting. The site is close to the King Edward Point settlement, yet the absence of any logistics connections with the Iles Crozet or Iles Kerguelen mitigates against anthropogenic introduction. The close proximity of the population to nests of blue-eyed shag (Phalacrocorax atriceps), Dominican gull (Larus dominicanus) and light-mantled sooty albatross (Phoebetria palpebrata) could imply the snail was originally introduced to South Georgia via these ocean transiting seabirds.

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Keywords

Notodiscus (Charopidae) on South Georgia: some implications of shell size, shell shape, and site isolation in a singular sub-Antarctic land snail

  • P.J.A. Pugh (a1) and R.I. Lewis Smith (a2)

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