Table of Contents
ISRN Zoology
Volume 2013, Article ID 638325, 9 pages
Research Article

Phylogenetic Relationships among Populations of the Vineyard Snail Cernuella virgata (Da Costa, 1778)

1Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Split, Teslina 12, 21000 Split, Croatia
2Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation, Kaštel 24, 51551 Veli Lošinj, Croatia

Received 20 June 2013; Accepted 13 August 2013

Academic Editors: M. Cucco, C. L. Frank, L. Kaczmarek, and V. Ketmaier

Copyright © 2013 Jasna Puizina et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cernuella virgata (Da Costa, 1778) (Mollusca: Hygromiidae), commonly known as the “vineyard snail,” is endemic species in Mediterranean and Western Europe including the British Isles, but in the Eastern USA and Australia it represents an introduced invasive species. The present work examines the genetic variability and phylogenetic relationships among the four populations of this land snail sampled along the east Adriatic region of Croatia using mitochondrial markers (partial 16S rDNA and COI gene) in addition to traditional methods of shell’s shape analysis. All the three molecular-phylogenetic approaches (median joining haplotype network analysis and Bayesian analysis, as well as maximum likelihood analysis) revealed two-three major subnetworks for both 16S rDNA and COI, with a clear distinction between south Adriatic haplotypes (Pisak) and north Adriatic haplotypes (Krk and Cres). The population from Karlobag was comprised of both north and south haplotypes, thus representing a putative contact zone between these two groups. The morphometric analysis showed that individuals from Cres island population were statistically significantly wider and higher than individuals from Pisak population. Analysis of the SW/SH ratio and the relationship between shell width and shell height showed no differences in shell growth between the two examined populations, indicating equal shell growth and shape, which gives the possibility that differences in size of individuals between those two populations could be influenced by biotic (physiological) or abiotic (environmental) factors. This study represents the first analysis of genetic variability and relatedness among native populations of C. virgata.