Month/Year: February 2022
Publisher: Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM)
Acknowledge: Liew Thor Seng & Foon Junn Kitt
Land snails and slugs are the second most abundant invertebrates on land after insects. There are about 800 – 1,000 known species of land snails and slugs in Malaysia. Except for a few introduced species in the gardens around our neighbourhood, land snails and slugs have generally been overlooked by most people. There are a few reasons why most of us are not familiar with land snails and slugs despite their immense diversity in Malaysia. Firstly, almost all native land snails and slugs are found only in the vicinity of or within rainforests where habitats are less accessible to people. Second, most land snail and slug species are tiny (less than 5 mm) and their population densities in their natural habitats are very low, except on limestone karsts where they can be common. Thirdly, most information on Malaysian land snails are published as scientific papers with technical terminologies and format, which are not easily understood for non-specialist audiences such as the general public.
Therefore, we prepared this book as an accessible resource to encourage people’s understanding and appreciation of the diversity of land snails and slugs in Malaysia. To that end, we used simple language and minimised technical terminologies. The first part of the book provides a general introduction to land snails and slugs with regards to their classification, species diversity, morphology, sampling methods, ecology and conservation. The second part of the book presents a selection of common and noteworthy land snail and slug genera as well as their representative species.