Zonitoides arboreus, a nice name, but a nasty snail

Gepubliceerd op
23 oktober 2013

Growers of orchids know how noxious this small species of snail is. The snail is only approximately 0,5 cm in diameter. They spent most of their lives in growing media like bark and eat from the roots.

There are no real effective means to control the snails in the growing medium. A growing number of pests are being controlled by the introduction of natural enemies. Therefore we are also searching for natural enemies of this snail. The species is native in North America, which does not necessarily mean that there are no potential natural enemies in Europe.

Snail killers

There is one family of flies, Sciomyzidae, which are well known as snail-killing flies. Flies in this family live in wetlands, which are plentiful present in The Netherlands. Snail-killing flies need snails as food and for reproduction. A literature survey revealed at least one species of snail-killing flies that lives both in North America and Europe, attacks this snail in North America.

Cultures of the snails

In our country there are possibly more candidate natural enemies, which appear to kill this snail. Therefore we put small cultures of the snails outdoors in several places near wetlands in order to attract and catch natural enemies. We are hoping for a good catch.