Ditch Adjacent To Kernan Boulevard, Southeastern Duval County, Florida
Knowing of my
interest in chronicling the presence of
Pomacea paludosa (Say, 1829)
Applesnail] in Duval County, during the summer of 2005 Ryan Myer, the
ranger of the University of North Florida Wildlife Sanctuary, reported
that he had seen applesnail eggs in a roadside ditch on south Kernan Boulevard
just outside the university. This investigator subsequently made several
visits to the area but was unable to locate either any eggs or snails.
On May 14, 2006, with applesnail breeding/egg laying in full swing, I
made one further more in-depth sweep of the two miles of road and
finally located a large breeding Pomacea paludosa population in a
large drainage ditch adjacent to the "Avanti" condominium complex just
south of the intersection of Beach and Kernan Boulevards. The muddy
bottom of the ditch was alive with Pomacea and four concrete culverts
associated with the ditch all contained Pomacea egg clutches.
Investigation of the ditch into the forest upstream (west) of Kernan
Boulevard failed to yield any Pomacea. It was obvious that the
Pomacea present in the ditch were somewhat stunted - probably
because of overpopulation. Sampling of the muddy ditch bottom also
revealed a very large population of Campeloma
floridense (Call, 1886) [Purple-throat
Campeloma] as well as some Planorbella duryi
1879) [Seminole Rams-horn].
A return visit was made to the area on 5/17/2006 and both the upstream and downstream areas of the ditch were surveyed. No evidence of Pomacea was found in either area suggesting that the species is confined to small area immediately adjacent to Kernan Boulevard.
During 2008 this habitat was radically altered during the widening of Kernan Boulevard. A visit to the site on 5/2/2009 confirmed that a small breeding population of Pomacea paludosa survived the construction. However, the fate of the Campeloma floridense population, a species which is found in a limited number of sites in the county, could not be determined.
[Click on the images below for a higher resolution version.]
Ditch immediately adjacent to Kernan Boulevard
Ditch at "Avanti" condominium complex entrance
Second culvert at condominium complex entrance
Sample of specimens from the ditch