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Invasion of white snails
The white snails of Provence (Xeropicta derbentina) are snails of the steppes and semi-desert environments whose original range extended from the Caucasus to Croatia via Greece, Bulgaria, and Romania. They flee the ground and the earth that is too hot in summer to seek a bit of nocturnal humidity on the stems of plants and cover by the hundreds the lavender clumps on the Valensole plateau. Discovered for the first time in Provence in 1949 at Le Tholonet near Aix-en-Provence, these snails multiplied in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence from the 1970s with a marked increase over the last fifteen years. If the damage they cause to plants and crops is low as these snails consume very little fresh vegetation, their numbers can block the development of buds and transmit lung parasites to small ruminants.
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