Date of Award

2016

First Advisor

Thomas Coote

Second Advisor

Erin McMullin

Third Advisor

Kathleen Schmidt

Abstract

In this thesis, I comprehensively assess the systematics, ecology, and distribution of the terrestrial and freshwater mollusks (Mollusca: Gastropoda) of Montserrat, a small volcanic island in the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean Lesser Antilles. This is the first systematic evaluation of Montserrat’s terrestrial and freshwater mollusk biodiversity, and treats virtually all known historically collected material from the island––approximately 450 specimens in 61 lots––from seven major museum collections, in addition to specimens I collected during three recent zoological surveys of the island. I provide annotated systematic accounts and photographic illustrations for 40 species of nonmarine mollusk (29 terrestrial and 11 freshwater), 25 of which are reported from Montserrat for the first time here. In addition to the main discussion of the taxonomy, ecology, local and regional distribution, anatomy, and behavior of the animals treated in this work, I provide a complete historical review of the scientific study and collection of Montserrat’s non-marine mollusks from 1875 to the present.

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