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Lusitano saliva. This snail colonized Poland and may be a threat to the wolf

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Lusitano lizards may pose a threat to the wolf population. Although these invasive snails look harmless, they are vectors for many dangerous pathogens. Farmers don't like them either.

The Karkonosze National Park published on social media a photo of a naked snail of the Lusitano snail species (Arion lusitanicus). This invasive species appeared in Poland at the end of the 20th century and has since managed to colonize the entire country.

“It's hard to believe!”

According to experts from KPN, Lusitano bibs currently have a minimally invasive status. However, they pose a significant threat to many native species, much larger than themselves. Snails carry parasitic nematodes such as Angiostrongylus vasorum, which parasitize in the pulmonary arteries and hearts of canids and felids, including dogs, foxes, wolves and lynxes. Roundworms can cause breathing problems by damaging the air sacs in the lungs and block blood vessels, impeding circulation and leading to heart failure.

“Although it's hard to believe, a snail can be a threat to a wolf!” – explained the park representatives.

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A fierce enemy of potatoes

According to the General Directorate for Environmental Protection, the Lusitano bib can reach a length of up to 15 centimeters when crawling. Its body is covered with distinct wrinkles, and its front part has a smooth, rounded coat. Snails can range in color from brick red to dark brown, which makes them relatively easy to confuse with other saliva.

Lusitano lizards are not picky when it comes to food, although they prefer winter rapeseed, winter wheat and vegetables. They prefer to feed on germinating or developing plants, especially buds and young leaves – larger, older leaves are less tasty for them. Molluscs also cause considerable damage to potato crops by chewing holes on the surface of tubers and drilling channels in which they can hide.

Lusitanian saliva (Arion lusitanicus) – photo. sampleShutterstock

Karkonosze National Park, GDOŚ, WCVM

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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