Snails and slugs have a reputation as slimy, repulsive creatures that are nothing more than garden pests, but they are important components of the ecosystems they live in. In fact, most of the pest slugs and snails are introduced species that have come here with the plants we import for our gardens. Worldwide there are more species of snails and slugs than all the mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians combined, yet they are often overlooked because of their relatively small size. Land snails and slugs are well adapted to live in almost any kind of environment, from high arctic tundra to tropical forests. In British Columbia, they can be found just about everywhere. Land Snails of British Columbia describes all 92 species of terrestrial molluscs in our province. It includes photographs and detailed drawings of each, diagnostic keys and a selection of colour photographs to aid in identification. With each species description, the author discusses its natural history and distribution in the province. He also talks about reproduction, life history, diet, locomotion and shell structure (even slugs have shells). Nature buffs and anyone interested in looking past the bad reputation of these much-maligned creatures will find this handbook an enlightening guide. For gardeners, this book will tell you which snails to cast out of your garden and which ones to keep, because some snails and slugs are beneficial to gardens and some even prey on their pestilent relatives.
About the Author
Robert Forsyth is a malacologist who has studied terrestrial molluscs in BC since 1990. He is a research associate with the Royal BC Museum and has published more than a dozen articles on molluscs. This is his first book.