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A ROVE BEETLE, OCYPUS OLENS,1 WITH POTENTIAL FOR BIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF THE BROWN GARDEN SNAIL, HELIX ASPERSA,2 IN CALIFORNIA, INCLUDING A KEY TO THE NEARCTIC SPECIES OF OCYPUS

  • R. E. Orth (a1), Ian Moore (a1), T. W. Fisher (a1) and E. F. Legner (a1)

Abstract

A female rove beetle (Ocypus olens Müller) in the laboratory consumed 20 small-sized brown garden snails (Helix aspersa Müller) in 22 days, eating almost its weight in snail bodies daily. H. aspersa is a serious agricultural and residential plant pest. Field observations from an area where O. olens was well established had a smaller snail population than similar areas lacking the beetle. O. olens appears to be a promising candidate species for biological control of H. aspersa. Mass production of O. olens has not yet been attempted. A tabular key to the nearctic species of Ocypus is presented. In North America its distribution is limited to California for which a map is included.

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References

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Basinger, A. J. 1931. The European brown snail in California. Bull. Univ. Calif., College Agric. Exp. Stn., No. 515. Berkeley, Calif.22 pp., 16 figs.
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Hanna, G. D. 1966. Introduced mollusks of western North America. Occ. Pap. Calif. Acad. Sci., No. 48, 108 pp., 85 figs., 4 pl.
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Stearns, R. 1881. On Helix aspersa in California, and the geographical distribution of certain west American land-snails, and previous errors relating thereto, etc. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 2: 129139.
Swan, L. A. 1964. Beneficial insects. Harper & Row, New York. 429 pp., illus.
Tryon, G. H. 1888. Manual of concology: structure and systematics. Pulmonata (Ser. 2) 4: 235.

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