Selected life history traits of Leptaxis simia (Férussac, 1832) (Gastropoda: Hygromiidae) established in the laboratory

  • Elżbieta Kuźnik-Kowalska Department of Invertebrate Systematics and Ecology, Institute of Environmental Biology, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Kożuchowska 5b, 51-631 Wrocław
  • Robert A. D. Cameron Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN; Department of Zoology, the Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD
  • Małgorzata Proćków Museum of Natural History, University of Wrocław, ul. Sienkiewicza 21, 50-335 Wrocław
Keywords: endemic, delayed maturity, growth rate, reproduction, life history traits, Leptaxis simia, Gastropoda, Hygromiidae


Among ten adult specimens of the Madeiran endemic land snail Leptaxis simia kept in the laboratory, a single clutch of 110 eggs was reared, and the mortality, growth and reproductive capacity of hatchlings over a 1240- day period were monitored. Of 70 hatchlings, 34 survived to complete shell growth at around 640 days. Growth was rapid, and mortality high in the early stages; growth slowed and mortality was very low as full size was approached. Snails kept singly failed to lay any eggs. Among those with potential mates, only three clutches were produced, one of which yielded no hatchlings. Clutches were produced at least five months after shell growth was complete. Mortality increased sharply after the onset of sexual maturity, and the oldest snail survived for three and a half years. The apparently very strictly semelparous mode of reproduction, delayed sexual maturity and relatively long period of juvenile growth are discussed in relation to other species, and to the practical problems of rearing potentially endangered species in captivity.


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How to Cite
Kuźnik-KowalskaE., CameronR. A. D., & ProćkówM. (2021). Selected life history traits of Leptaxis simia (Férussac, 1832) (Gastropoda: Hygromiidae) established in the laboratory. Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 67(4), 367–376.