• behaviour;
  • dispersal abilities;
  • human impact;
  • spatial distribution;
  • Xeropicta derbentina (Krynicki)


  • 1
    Land snail dispersal abilities are considered poor; however, the current invasion of the French Mediterranean region by Xeropicta derbentina (Krynicki 1836), as well as the past invasions of this region by several other species, seems to contradict this view.
  • 2
    Using a multilevel approach, from individual experimentation to landscape analysis, the dispersal abilities and mechanisms allowing the passive dispersal of X. derbentina are studied.
  • 3
    The colonization of Provence occurred by stratified diffusion, where short-range active dispersal occurs side by side with long-range passive dispersal.
  • 4
    Active dispersal is not as limited as previously thought. In the field, the capture–mark–recapture method recorded a maximum distance covered of 42 m in 6 months within a radius of 38 m from the original release point.
  • 5
    Temperature and humidity, and therefore the time of year, influence the main type of dispersal. Dispersal is active during wet periods and essentially passive in dry and hot months.
  • 6
    Heat avoidance behaviour is one of the mechanisms allowing passive dispersal.
  • 7
    Passive dispersal via human activities is the main determinant of X. derbentina distribution within the landscape. In comparison to other species, X. derbentina is found more often in the vicinity of a communication route.
  • 8
    These results show that land snails can cover large distances in a lifetime. The potential for active and passive dispersal described in this paper enables X. derbentina to be a successful invasive species and explains the rapid spread and current distribution of this species.