, Volume 71, Issue 12, pp 1353–1360 | Cite as

Reproductive strategy in rock-dwelling snail Cochlodina orthostoma (Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Clausiliidae)

  • Anna Sulikowska-DrozdEmail author
  • Tomasz K. Maltz


To analyse the reproductive activity of the central-European clausiliid Cochlodina orthostoma we sampled monthly 30 adults from three sites comprising old stone walls of two abandoned castles and isolated limestone rocks. Out of the 395 dissected snails, 25.1% retained eggs. The number of eggs in the uterus ranged from 2 to 12. The highest percentages of gravid individuals were recorded in June–July, but reproductive intensity varied among populations. Almost half of the recorded eggs contained a shelled embryo. The largest embryonic shell featured approximately 1.3 whorls. The reproductive mode of the species was also studied in laboratory culture. Egg-laying was observed between May and November, the number of eggs laid on a single occasion ranged from 1 to 8, and the number of eggs produced per individual varied between 6 and 21 during the observation period. We found that eggs were laid in various developmental stages, accordingly, there were differences in egg sizes and the external incubation period varied between 6 and 15 days. Based on our results C. orthostoma should be regarded as brooding species with a short and flexible period of egg retention.

Key words

land snails Alopiinae life history egg-retention brooding limestone rocks stone walls 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



We are thankful to Robert A.D. Cameron for helpful comments on the earlier draft of this paper.


  1. Alexandrowicz S.W. 1987. Analiza malakologiczna w badaniach osadów czwartorzędowych [Malacological analysis in Quaternary research]. Kwartalnik AGH, Geologia 12: 3–240.Google Scholar
  2. Alexandrowicz S.W. 1995. Ruins of Carpathian castles as refuges of land snails. Ochrona Przyrody 52: 3–18.Google Scholar
  3. Ansart A., Cuiller A., Moine O., Martin M-C. & Madec L. 2014. Is cold hardiness size-constrained? A comparative approach in land snails. Evol. Ecol. 28(3): 471–493. DOI: 10.1007/sl0682-013-9680-9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baur B. 1994. Parental care in terrestrial gastropods. Experientia 50(Suppl. 1): 5–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baur B. & Baur A. 2006. Dispersal of the land snail Helicigono, lapicida in an abandoned limestone quarry. Malakol. Abh. 24: 135–139.Google Scholar
  6. Beese K., Armbruster G.F.J., Beier K. & Baur B. 2008. Evolution of female sperm-storage organs in the carrefour of stylommatophoran gastropods. J. Zool. Syst. Evol. Res. 47(1): 49–60. DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0469.2008.00491.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bulman K. 1996. Cykl zyciowy Cochlodino, laminata (Mont.) [Life cycle of Cochlodino, laminata (Mont.)], p. 8. In: Piechocki A. (ed.), Materialy zjazdowe XII Krajowego Seminarium Malakologicznego, Łódź, Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego, 44 pp.Google Scholar
  8. Clements R., Sodhi N.S., Schilthuizen M. & Ng P.K.L. 2006. Limestone Karsts of Southeast Asia: Imperiled arks of biodiversity. Bioscience 56(9): 733–742. DOI: 10.1641/0006-3568(2006)56[733:LKOSAI]2.0.CO;2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ehrmann P. 1933. Kreis Weichtiere, Mollusca, pp. 1–264. In: Brohmer P., Ehrmann P. & Ulmer G. (eds), Die Tierwelt Mitteleuropas, Band 2/II. 1. Lieferung: Mollusken, Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig.Google Scholar
  10. Kromming E. 1954. Biologie der mitteleuropäischen Landgas-tropoden. Duncker und Humblot, Berlin, 404 pp.Google Scholar
  11. Giokas S. & Mylonas M. 2002. Spatial distribution, density and life history in four Albinaria species (Gastropoda, Pulmonata, Clausiliidae). Malacologia 44(1): 33–46.Google Scholar
  12. Horsák, M., Juřičková, L. & Picka J. 2013. Mekkýši České a Slovenské republiky [Molluscs of the Czech and Slovak Republics], Nakl. Kabourek, Zlin, 264 pp. ISBN: 9788086447155Google Scholar
  13. Juřičková L. & Kučera T. 2005. Ruins of medieval castles as refuges for endangered species of molluscs. J. Moll. Stud. 71(3): 233–246. DOI: 10.1093/mollus/eyi031CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kerney M.P., Cameron R.A.D. & Jungbluth J.H. 1983. Die Land-schnecken Nord- und Mitteleuropas. Verlag Paul Parey, Hamburg und Berlin, 384 pp. ISBN-10: 3490179188, ISBN-13: 978-3490179180Google Scholar
  15. Likharev I. M. 1962. Klauziliidy (Clausiliidae). Fauna SSSR, N.S. 83, Mollyuski III, 4. Moskva-Leningrad, 317 pp.Google Scholar
  16. Maltz T.K. & Sulikowska-Drozd A. 2008. Life cycles of clausiliids of Poland - knowns and unknowns. Ann. Zool. 58(4): 857–880. DOI: 10.3161/000345408X396783CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Maltz T.K. & Sulikowska-Drozd A. 2012. Life history of Alinda biplicata (Montagu, 1803) (Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Clausiliidae) based on five-year laboratory observations. Ann. Zool. 62(4): 789–807. DOI: 10.3161/000345412X659803CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mamatkulov A.L. 2007. Breeding biology of some east European Clausiliidae species (Mollusca, Pulmonata). Zool. Zh. 86(4): 403–414.Google Scholar
  19. Manenti R. 2014. Dry stone walls favour biodiversity: a case study from the Appennines. Biodivers. Conserv. 23(8): 1879–1893. DOI: 10.1007/sl0531-014-0691-9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Riedel A. 1988. Ślimaki lądowe. Gastropoda terrestria. Katalog Fauny Polski 46. PWN, Warszawa, 316 pp. ISBN: 830107248, 9788301072483Google Scholar
  21. Schilthuizen M. & Lombaerts M. 1994. Population structure and levels of gene flow in the Mediterranean land snail Albinaria corrugata (Pulmonata: Clausiliidae). Evolution 48 (3): 577–586. DOI: 10.2307/2410470CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Schmera D., Baur A. & Baur B. 2015. Size-dependent shell growth and survival in natural populations of the rock-dwelling land snail Chondrina clienta. Can. J. Zool. 93(5): 403–410. DOI: 10.1139/cjz-2014-0307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sulikowska-Drozd A. 2009. Egg retention and ovoviviparity in clausiliids of the genus Vestia P. Hesse (Gastropoda: Clausiliidae). J. Mollusc. Stud. 75(4): 351–359. DOI: 10.1093/mol-lus/eyp028Google Scholar
  24. Sulikowska-Drozd A., Maltz T.K. & Kappes H. 2013. Brooding in a temperate zone land snail: seasonal and regional patterns. Contrib. Zool. 82(2): 85–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sulikowska-Drozd A., Maltz T. K. & Stachyra P. 2012. Egg retention in Balea (Pseudalinda) fallax (Rossmässler, 1836) from Roztocze (S.E. Poland). Folia Malacol. 20: 35–38. DOI: doi:10.2478/vl0125-012-0004-4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Tlachac P. 2008. Taxonomic position, biology and ecology of endemic subspecies of Krkonoše Mts. Cochlodino, dubiosa cor-contica (Brabenec, 1967). PhD thesis, Charles University, Praha.Google Scholar
  27. Tompa A.S. 1979. Studies on the reproductive biology of gastropods: Part 1. The systematic distribution of egg retention in the subclass Pulmonata (Gastropoda). J. Malacol. Soc. Austr. 4(3): 113–120.Google Scholar
  28. Welter-Schultes F. 2012. European Non-Marine Molluscs, a Guide for Species Identification. Planet Poster Editions, Göttingen, 760 pp. ISBN: 9783933922755Google Scholar
  29. Wirth T., Baur A. & Baur B. 1997. Mating system and genetic variability in the simultaneously hermaphroditic terrestrial gastropod Balea perversa on the Baltic island of Öland, Sweden. Hereditas 126(3): 199–209. DOI: 10.1111/j.1601-5223.1997.00199.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Slovak Academy of Sciences 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Invertebrate Zoology and HydrobiologyUniversity of ŁódźŁódźPoland
  2. 2.Museum of Natural HistoryUniversity of WrocławWrocławPoland

Personalised recommendations