Bulimulus sporadicus (d’Orbigny, 1835)
During a shopping trip to a business (Duval
site image) in an
industrial area in the core city of downtown Jacksonville, Duval County,
on 2/13/2009 Dr. Harry G. Lee
discovered a colony of Bulimulus - a Bulimulus species
that defied identification and was temporarily dubbed
Bulimulus sp. aff. guadalupensis
(Bruguière, 1789) West Indian Bulimulus. Bulimulus
guadalupensis are not uncommon in southeastern Florida, where they
were introduced from the West Indies. However, the Jacksonville
Bulimulus find (over 200 miles from the nearest known Bulimulus
population) represented the first time that a Bulimulus of any
ilk has been recorded from
Some 16 months later on 6/26/2010, Harry and Ed Cavin discovered another population of the same Bulimulus species in the roadside swale along US-301 about five miles south of Callahan, Florida in Nassau County - a location some 20 miles northwest of the site of the initial find in Duval County. (image of specimens - site image)
On 11/5/2011 a third, but very large, population of this species was found by this reporter's brother and his wife, Dennis and Teggy Frank, at Marble Masters at 7621 North Main Street in downtown Jacksonville. During a survey of the location by this reporter on 12/26/2011, both live snails and empty shells were found in the immediate vicinity of the nearby CSX Transportation railroad tracks, in vegetation nearby, as well as immediately adjacent to the aforementioned marble dealer. Subsequent surveys of this site reveal that the population extends for at least three city blocks with the snails present on both the east and west sides of the railroad tracks. (image of specimens)
A fourth population was discovered by this reporter on 9/4/2012 immediately adjacent to the same CSX Transportation rail line on North Main Street about 0.3 miles north of the Marble Masters site listed in the above paragraph but on the north side of the Trout River. The bridge spanning the river between the two Main Street snail sites is about 0.25 miles in length. (image of specimens - site image)
As all four known populations of the species were in close proximity to CSX Transportation rail lines, this reporter theorized that the species was being introduced/spread by CSX rolling stock (i.e. dropping off passing trains). Therefore to test this hypothesis, an intense effort was made to find additional populations along CSX Transportation lines. This effort proved to be extremely successful and eleven additional populations were discovered in Duval County as well as a population in Palatka, Putnam County, Florida - some 65 miles south of Jacksonville (see a chronology of the Bulimulus population finds below).
On 11/8/2012 information was received from Dr. David Robinson (USDA APHIS PPQ NIS) that the unidentified Duval, Nassau, Putnam Counties Bulimulus species had now been found in a CSX railroad yard at 62nd St. in Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida - a location some 250 miles southwest of Jacksonville. The USDA identified the species as Bulimulus sporadicus.
The question remains as to where this new Florida exotic Bulimulus species is originating to be spread by railroad rolling stock. During the course of the surveys in Duval County this reporter had a conversation with a member of CSX Transportation railroad police who indicated that some of their rolling stock originates in Mexico and that human stowaways were a recurring problem. According to the USDA, Bulimulus sporadicus has also been found in Houston, Texas (no further information). However, the discovery of two very large and obviously long established Bulimulus sporadicus populations adjacent to the Jacksonville Talleyrand marine port facility during August, 2014 suggests that the species could have initially originated at the port and subsequently spread throughout the county by CSX rolling stock.
Bulimulus Survey Notes
On 9/6 and 7/2012 this reporter surveyed the CSX rail line for a distance of about seven miles along North Main Street north of the Marble Masters Bulimulus population. During the two surveys four additional Bulimulus populations were found (Eastport Road - 11500 block of North Main Street image of specimens - site image, Setzer Road - 10200 block of North Main Street image of specimens - image of specimen on tracks, Franklin Avenue - 10000 block of North Main Street image of specimens, and Clark Road - 9600 block of North Main Street image of specimens - site image bringing the total number of locations along this rail line where the species is present to six and encompassing a distance of 4.5 miles. It should also be noted that during the survey two new populations of Praticolella mexicana K. Perez, 2011 were also discovered. Praticolella mexicana is commonly found in south Florida but only recently (2009) made its appearance in the northeast of the state.
On 9/13-14/2012 the CSX Transportation railroad line just south of West Beaver Street (the same area of town where the Bulimulus were initially found at the Duval Container Company in 2009) was surveyed and and five locations were checked. Of the five, three had a thriving population of Bulimulus and at two locations Praticolella mexicana were found. Sites with Bulimulus populations were the Stockton Street image of specimens - site image, King Street image of specimens - site image, and McDuff Avenue image of specimens - site image railroad crossings (see map below). The Stockton Street location had an extremely large population - the largest seen thus far found at any location - and were present on both the east and west sides of the street.
On 9/16/2012 yet another CSX Transportation railroad line in the same area of town was surveyed. A small population of Bulimulus was discovered at the CSX railroad crossing near 2096 Dennis Street site image. This location is not far from where Harry Lee initially discovered the Bulimulus behind the Duval Container Company but is on a different railroad line (see map below). Additionally, it was discovered that the Duval Container Company population had spread considerably with Bulimulus present on abandoned buildings and under vegetation/debris on South Myrtle Avenue to at least Elm Street which is a considerable distance south the Duval Container Company.
On 9/21/2012 the CSX Transportation railroad line just south of West Beaver Street was surveyed further to the west and a large thriving Bulimulus population was found at the Lane Avenue railroad crossing site image. The snails were present on both the northeast and southeast areas of the crossing. This location is 2.8 miles west of the previously known westerly population on this railroad line at McDuff Avenue.
On 10/11/2012 the CSX railroad line that runs through Palatka, Putnam County, Florida was investigated - a location about 65 miles south of Jacksonville. This line is the same line along which Bulimulus were found at the Dennis Street railroad crossing in Jacksonville. This line is also utilized by Amtrak for their east coast service. Two live Bulimulus adults were found in a field immediately adjacent to the tracks in Palatka directly across from the Palatka Amtrak station site image. Also present were a large number of Praticolella mexicana - the only known location in Putnam County where this species has thus far been found. This find of Praticolella suggests that this species too is being spread/dispersed by rail. However, unlike the Bulimulus which have thus far only been found adjacent to CSX railroad lines, Praticolella have been found at three locations in northeast Florida where a railroad line was not present.
On 11/26/2012 a thirteenth Duval County Bulimulus sporadicus population was discovered at the Mc Quade Street CSX Transportation railroad line crossing - a location in the core city of Jacksonville located midway between two CSX switching yards site image. The snails were found on both the north and south sides of Mc Quade street on the west side of the tracks.
On 3/15/2014 a fourteenth Duval County Bulimulus sporadicus population was discovered in low vegetation along West Church Street just west of the intersection of North Myrtle Avenue in the core city of Jacksonville site image. Empty Praticolella mexicana shells were also present. The same date, several live Bulimulus were also discovered on a building on the west side of North Myrtle Avenue neat the intersection of West Adams Street. This suggests that Bulimulus are present in that entire block of North Myrtle Avenue south of West Church Street and west of North Myrtle Avenue.
During a field survey on 4/14/2014 a pair of live Bulimulus sporadicus were discovered in vegetation along the CSX Transportation railroad line just south of the Rosselle Street crossing. This site had previously been surveyed during 2013 and no Bulimulus were found. It should be noted that this railroad line is the same line that runs through Palatka in Putnam County, some 60 miles distant, where live Bulimulus were found on 10/11/2012.
On 6/6/2014 an Email was received from Cory Penca (Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services) reporting that snails resembling Rabdotus dealbatus (Say, 1821) [Whitewashed Rabdotus] had been found in Ruskin, Hillsborough, Florida. The images of the snails provided by Mr. Penca are without a doubt Bulimulus sporadicus. Follow-up information revealed that the snails were found within 600 feet of a CSX Transportation railroad line that runs through Ruskin.
On 7/6/2014 the CSX Transportation railroad crossing at Halsema Road, just south of West Beaver Street, was surveyed and a very large thriving Bulimulus population was found. This site was previously surveyed during September of 2012 and no Bulimulus were found at that time. This new find, about 11 miles west of the Duval Container Company where the species was initially discovered during 2009, is the furthest west that the species has been found along the railroad line that runs from downtown Jacksonville to Baldwin in far western Duval County. Interestingly, about half of the snails found at Halsema Road were albinistic. image of specimens
On 7/9/2014 the CSX Transportation railroad line was surveyed between the known Bulimulus sporadicus populations at the Lane Avenue railroad crossing and the Halsema Road railroad crossing; a distance of about six miles. During the course of the survey three new locations housing Bulimulus populations were discovered which included the Hammond Boulevard railroad crossing, the Devoe Street railroad crossing site image, and the Addor Lane railroad crossing. While live specimens were found at Hammond Boulevard and Devoe Street, only empty shells were found at Addor Lane - but in large numbers.
While returning from a molluscan survey in the western part of Duval County on 8/1/2014, a continuous Bulimulus sporadicus population was discovered on the south side of West Beaver Street west of McDuff Avenue. The snails were observed aestivating on buildings for a distance of about one half mile west of the intersection of McDuff Avenue. Later the same date Bulimulus were also discovered at the Forest Street crossing of the CSX Transportation railroad line (two specimens) and the Lewis Street crossing of the same railroad line a short distance to the southwest (two living juvenile specimens). The Lewis Street location had been visited periodically over a two year period and no Bulimulus could be found. This suggests that the snails recently arrived at this location. Forest Street Bulimulus
While running an errand on 8/5/2014, a thriving Bulimulus sporadicus population was discovered at the CSX Transportation railroad crossing at Plymouth Street near the intersection of US-17 (Rosevelt Boulevard) just across from Florida State College Jacksonville Kent Campus. The snails were present on both the east and west sides of Plymouth Street along the railroad tracks. This is the same railroad line that runs southwest to Palatka some 60 mile away where Bulimulus sporadicus were discovered by this reporter on 10/11/2012. image of specimens
During a field survey on 8/9/2014, a Bulimulus sporadicus population was discovered at the CSX Transportation railroad crossing on Alta Drive near the intersection with New Berlin Road in far eastern Duval County. Both living specimens and empty shells were present. This is the farthest east that that the species has been found to date and it is about five miles east of the closest known Bulimulus population site image.
On 8/10/2014 a single empty Bulimulus sporadicus shell was discovered at the CSX Transportation railroad crossing on Eastport Road just north of the intersection of Kraft Road and south of Faye Road in northeastern Duval County. This railroad line connects with the line where the Bulimulus population was discovered the previous day (see above entry).
During a survey on 8/12/2014, a Bulimulus population was discovered along North Main Street near the CSX Transportation railroad crossing at Busch Drive. A small number of both living and empty specimens were present. This location had previously been surveyed several times during September, 2012 and no Bulimulus could be found - although the species was present at five other locations along North Main Street. Later during the same trip, additional large Bulimulus populations were discovered at the CSX Transportation railroad crossings at Buffalo Avenue near 50th Street East and Wigmore Street near Santa Claus Lane image of specimens. The extremely large number of empty shells and wide dispersal at the latter location suggests that the species had been present for a long period of time.
During a survey on 8/14/2014, a large Bulimulus sporadicus population was found at a CSX Transportation railroad crossing on Talleyrand Avenue near the intersection with Bond Avenue site image. The very large number of empty shells present and wide dispersal suggests that this population as been present for a long period of time. The next day a pair of empty Bulimulus sporadicus shells were found along the CSX Transportation railroad crossing on East Beaver Street - a location over half a mile south of the Talleyrand Avenue site. A modest number of live specimens were subsequently found at this location on 9/1/2014. These finds suggest that the species is widespread in this part of Jacksonville near the Talleyrand Marine Terminal which is criss-crossed by railroad lines and also sees heavy truck traffic.
During a follow-up snail survey on 8/17/2014, Bulimulus sporadicus were found at three additional CSX Transportation railroad crossings in the core city of Jacksonville to include the crossings at Martin Luther King Parkway site image, Evergreen Avenue near 7th Street site image, and 8th Street East just east of Ionia Street. Live specimen and empty shells were found at all three locations but were particularly common at the Martin Luther King Parkway site.
During a field survey on 8/19/2014, Bulimulus sporadicus were found at three additional CSX Transportation railroad crossings in the core city of Jacksonville to include the crossings at Buckman Street just north of East 30th Street, Evergreen Avenue near East 27th Street, and East 21st Street just west of Evergreen Avenue.
During a survey on 8/23/2014, Bulimus sporadicus were found at the CSX Transportation railroad crossing on North Pearl Street near West 15th Street in the core city of Jacksonville site image. A modest number of both living specimens and empty shells were found. This particular railroad line had recently been surveyed both east and west of this location and no Bulimulus could be found.
During a survey on 8/24/2014, Bulimulus sporadicus were found at the CSX Transportation railroad crossing on Carmen Street just south of East 11th Street. Both living specimens and a very large number of empty shells were present. During the trip, Bulimulus were also found on East 8th Street just west of Phoenix Avenue. The snails were present on both the north and south side of the street and the population extended west to at least Walnut Street.
Map showing Duval County Bulimulus sporadicus sites near CSX rail lines east of Interstate 95 (8/23/2014)
Map showing Duval/Nassau County Bulimulus sporadicus sites near CSX rail lines West of Interstate 95 (8/13/2014)
Duval County, Florida