Terrestrial gastropods as Fragaria x ananassa pests in southern Brazil: morphological identification
ABSTRACT: Considering the damage caused by terrestrial gastropods in strawberry producing areas in southern Brazil, this study aimed to i) identify the species associated with Fragaria x ananassa in rural properties in municipalities of Paraná State, Brazil; ii) describe and illustrate the diagnostic morphological and conchology features of the mollusk species; iii) construct an illustrated key based on these morphological and conchology features; iv) analyze two species collected in March 2017 to investigate the possible occurrence of parasitic nematodes of medical importance. Taxonomic determination of the mollusks was performed through morphological analysis of samples, and parasitological analysis was carried out using artificial digestion. The following gastropod species were identified: Bradybaena similaris (Bradybaenidae), Rumina decollata (Subulinidae), Deroceras leave (Agriolimacidae), Limacus flavus (Limacidae), and Meghimatium pictum (Philomycidae). Rumina decollata, L. flavus,and M. pictum were recorded for the first time as damaging strawberries in Brazil. No larvae of medical or veterinary importance, associated with samples, were reported. The main diagnostic features are described and illustrated. Besides, the potential of the gastropods as crop pests and vectors of nematodes associated with zoonotic diseases are discussed. Results can facilitate identification of gastropod species in strawberry crops and provide background information for future studies on bioecology and pest control.