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Bookreviews

Title:Applesnails in the aquarium. Author:Dr.Gloria Perrara & Jerry G. Walls. Publisher:TFH Publications,1996. Description:This is the only book that I know of that deals with keeping Applesnails in the aquarium. Luckily it's a very good book too,describing the biology and ecology of Applesnails,what you need for keeping them and a extensive description of the species. At end of the book is a short chapter about other aquarium snails.The many photographs are excellent. For people who keep Applesnails in a serious way this is a must have book. Availability:This book shouldn't be too hard to find either on Amazon.com,Barnes and Nobles or at a local bookseller.

Title:The Giant African snail:A problem in economic malacology Author:Albert R. Mead Publisher:University of Chicago Press,1961. Description:Despite being published over 40 years ago this book is still considered to be a main reference work when it comes to Achatina fulica.Describing the dispersal of the snail from the 19th century up to the 1950's, factors favoring dispersal and survival and economic importance. It becomes clear why it is such a big problem even though there are many ways to control the snail,whether it is chemical,biological or mechanical.All these methods are extensively dealt with in this book. It would be very interesting to see a new updated edition of this work. Availability:This book can still be found regularly at secondhand bookshops online.

Title:Shellshock,conchological curiosities Author:Patrick Mauries Publisher:Thames and Hudson,1994 Description:Shells have been used in art for thousands of years.Whether the shell itself or the image of shells.The book starts by looking at shells in the so-called Curio cabinets of the 16th and 17th century.Then shows us the wonderful engravings of Albert Seba. In the 17th and 18th century some fantastic shellgrotto's were made.On a smaller scale are furniture,smaller pieces, and ceramics.Ofcourse many paintings have a shell motive. In the 20th century beautiful glass shell pieces were made in Venice and France. Although showing mostly marine shells this is a book that would interest any shell collector or artlover. Availability:This is one of those books that sometimes pops up on the bargaintable at booksellers.

Title:Compendium of landshells. Author:R.Tucker Abbott. Publisher:American Malacologists,1989. Description:R.Tucker Abott was,and is,one of the most famous American Malacologists of the 20th century.Writing mostly about marine shells this book is an exception.It is one of the best landsnail books around.Small chapters deal with the different aspects of landsnails:Habitats, snails as disease carriers,color patterns,collecting etc. The biggest part of the book is a great catalogue of the different prosobranch and pulmonate landsnails.Sometimes Abbott focuses too much on a group of snails,in my opinion,for example the Helicostylinae. They are 22 pages of pictures of this subfamily.This leaves not much room for other groups like European landsnails. Having said that this is still one of the best landsnailbooks around,and a must for shellcollectors and everybody interested in terrestrial snails. Availability:Is very hard to find,you have to be lucky to get a copy.

Title:Molluscs:Their significance for science,medicine,commerce and culture. Translated from German. Author:Dora Godan Publisher:Blackwell wissenschafts-Verlag,1999 Description:There aren't many books that deal with molluscs in all their aspects,but this is a nice exception.It starts with a small section on mollusc morphology,although very basic info. The strong point of this book lies in the chapters about the relation of man and molluscs.Molluscs as food,as ornament, as collectables,as talisman and remedy,theirinfluence on arts and endangered molluscs. The second part of the book looks at the damage molluscs can cause:to crops and to human health.The various methods of controlling molluscs are being described from chemicals to biological ways with many good practical examples. Availability:This book shouldn't be too hard to find even though its out of print.

Title:British snails:The non-marine gastropoda of Great Britain and Ireland Author:Arthur Erskine Ellis Publisher:Oxford at the Clarendon Press,1969 Description:Like many of these kind of books this one too starts with the morphology of snails.What is different is the chapter about the origins of non-marine mollusca,which is very interesting. Because this reprint is over 35 years old(from the first edition of 1926!)some of the names have been changed but overall this is a very useful guide.Fourteen plates in the back illustrate this edition. Availability:Very hard to find.

Title:A guide to snails of Britain and Europe,including slugs and freshwater molluscs. Author:Dr.V.Pfleger & Dr.June Chatfield Publisher:Hamlyn,1988 Description:This book contains one of the best descriptions I have seen about the morphology of gastropods.The chapter about the shell is very extensive. The chapters about biology and ecology are also very good,a smaller chapter gives some useful hints about keeping snails in aquaria and terraria. The descriptions of the species with the good photographs makes this book a very useful fieldguide. The strongest point of this guide is that it describes a large number of species that occur in Eastern Europe.The last part of the book has a very useful identifation key. This guide has also been published under the title:a field guide in colour to molluscs, in 1999 by Blitz Editions.But it is exactly the same book. Availability:Hard to find.

Title:A filed guide to the land snails of Britain and North-west Europe. Author:M.P.Kerney & R.A.D.Cameron Publisher:Collins,1979 Description:This guide is the best one that has been published,but unfortunatly it is long out-of-print. It has the usual chapters about morphology,ecology and collecting of snails which are useful enough.But the best part of this guide are the descriptions of the species with the great illustrations of Gordon Riley. In the back of the book are distributions maps of 276 species in Europe and 116 maps showing the distribution within Great Britain. A 2002 German edition of this guide contains about 100 pages more,but is out of print too. Availability:Can sometimes be found at secondhand bookdealers. Abebooks has quite a few for sale.

Title:Molluscs Author:J.E.Morton Publisher:Hutchinson & Co,1968 Description:This book describes molluscs in all their forms from the creatures living in the sea to the ones that carved out a living on the terra firma.Its sole focus is on morphology and biology,so there are no species described here. Sometimes its hard picking out the information which deals with landsnails between the text.But there are many interesting facts to be found nontheless. Availability:Very hard to find.

Title:Your first Giant African Land snail. Author:Lucie Mann. Publisher:Kingdom books,1999 Description:Giant African landsnails are increasingly becoming popular as a pet.Having a good guide on how to keep them is therefore a must. This thin book is certainly a good starting point.It contains all the info you need for keeping these snails.The title: "your first..."tells you at which group of people its aimed at:the beginner. When you become a more experienced snailkeeper you will feel the need for more indepth information and the internet is the place to find it. What the author fails to mention,unfortunatly,is that GALS can reproduce themselves very quickly and finding new homes for the babies can be very difficult. Availability:Easy to find online at for example Amazon.com.

Title:The Banana Slug,a close look at a Giant Forest Slug of Western North America. Author:Alice Bryant Harper Publisher:Bay Leaves Press,1988 Description:Banana slugs are one of the biggest slug species in the world and certainly the most colorful. This small book describes the slugs morphology,biology and its habitat.The author shows to be a great observant when she tells us about the mating ritual.An interesting aspect of this is called apophallation,the gnawing off of the penis of one of the slugs in order to get themselves seperated. The photographs which were made by the authors husband are great in detail. Availability:Hard to find.

Title:Landsnails of the British Isles. Author:A.A.Wardhaugh. Publisher:Shire,1989 Description:This thin book is a good basic guide for the beginner.It gives a description of snails by habitat which is very useful.The book is illustrated throughout with good drawings and thirteen photographs. Availability:Easy to find.

Title:The illustrated guide to molluscs. Translated from German. Author:Horst Janus. Publisher:Burke,1982 Description:This book is divided in seven parts.The first dealing with the morphology,the second with planning a collection. This part provides many useful hints on starting up your own collection. The third part is a very interesting article about the principles of zoological classification.The fourth part is about identifying snails and slugs with very clear instructions on how exactly count the whorlson the shell. The fifth and biggest part contains the descriptions of the species illustrated with many line drawings. Availability:Very hard to find.

Title:Field guide to the slug. Author:David George Gordon Publisher:Sasquatch Books,1997 Description:There aren't many modern books that deal solely with slugs,this thin book is one of the few.Describing a few slug- as well as snailspecies its not really meant to be a determination guide. Under the title "The seven wonder wonders of slugdom"it describes the sole,slime, stomach,speed,senses,sex and speciation. Ofcourse the author cannot avoid the fact that slugs can be a pest and therefore there's a chapter on how to deal with them. Either by handpicking them,beertraps or using chemicals(be very careful with this). If you rather like to look at them than kill then there are two chapters on finding slugs in nature and keeping slugs as a pet. Availability:Easy to find.

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