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VERONICELLA CUBENSIS AND LAEVICAULIS ALTE, INVASIVE SLUGS IN THE HAWIIAN ISLANDS: LIFE HISTORIES AND THE GUT MICROBIOME

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Title:VERONICELLA CUBENSIS AND LAEVICAULIS ALTE, INVASIVE SLUGS IN THE HAWIIAN ISLANDS: LIFE HISTORIES AND THE GUT MICROBIOME
Authors:Sommer, Rachel Mary
Contributors:Cowie, Robert (advisor)
Zoology (department)
Keywords:Zoology
Laevicaulis alte
life histories
microbiome
Veronicella cubensis
show 1 moreVeronicellidae
show less
Date Issued:Dec 2018
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:Veronicella cubensis and Laevicaulis alte are widespread invasive slugs. Although they are voracious pests and known carriers of Angiostrongylus cantonensis, little is understood of the characters that make them successful invaders. To gain a more comprehensive understanding of these species, a study of their life histories was conducted. Slugs were reared in a lab setting to gather data on lifespan reproductive trends. The effect of temperature on juvenile growth was also determined by tracking the weight gain of slugs maintained in either a hot or cool temperature environment over the first six months of life. Observations of the egg laying behavior of V. cubensis prompted analysis of the gut microbiome and the possibility of transmission of the microbiome from parent to offspring from a substance laid on its egg masses. Veronicella cubensis reaches reproductive maturity at around 6 months of age and exhibits long duration mating and egg laying. The egg masses of both species contain a variable number of eggs, which hatch with a high success rate. Warmer temperatures cause faster weight gain in V. cubensis juveniles but not in those of L. alte. Microbiome analyses suggest the substance laid on V. cubensis egg masses comes from the adult slug hindgut, and the bacterial community on the surface of the eggs constitutes a component of the bacteria acquired by juveniles. These results are a valuable addition to the limited knowledge of the reproductive biology of these veronicellid species; they will help us to understand why they are such successful invaders and thereby to predict and prevent their further spread.
Description:M.S. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2018.
Pages/Duration:51 pages
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/62843
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: M.S. - Zoology


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