Nature’s Design


Garden Snail (Cornu aspersum) – A common garden snail we may have all seen at one time or another. I do have a thing about their shells, and shells in general. I love the intricate details, the patterns and earthy colours of this one in particular.


Garden Snail Cornu aspersum


Copyright: Peter Hillman
Camera used: Nikon D7200
Date taken: 13th October 2019
Place: Rear garden, Staffordshire


 

More Rain …

White-lipped Snail Cepaea hortensis

Believe it or not this is the same species of snail which I posted previously. The shells can be quite variable.


White-lipped Snail (Cepaea hortensis) June 2019, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

When It Rains

White-lipped Snail Cepaea hortensis

Yes, when it rains these all come out to play … or eat my garden to the ground. I really like the shell colours and patterns on these.


White-lipped Snail (Cepaea hortensis) June 2019, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

A Perilous Journey

White-lipped Snail Cepaea hortensis

One summer’s day I observed this White-lipped Snail Cepaea hortensis as it travelled from leaf to leaf on my crab apple tree. It was very slow going, but how it managed to slide and glide from leaf to leaf without falling off was quite something.

White-lipped Snail Cepaea hortensis

Double click on images to enlarge.


August 2017, rear garden, Staffordshire, England.

Who Has Been At The Bird Seed Again?

Large Red Slug Arion (Arion) rufus

I found this Large Red Slug (Arion (Arion) rufus) wallowing in the ground bird feeder this morning, and wallowing almost as if it did not have a care in the world. Later on when I took this image, it had finally slithered out the feeder, covered in seed. I am sure these eat more of the seed than the birds do.

September 2017, rear garden, Staffordshire, England.

Who Said Slugs Don’t Like Salt?

Large Red Slug Arion (Arion) rufus

This is the Large Red Slug (Arion (Arion) rufus), and its slimy kind really like to set up camp in my garden to chomp on my plants. Now most people know if you want to reduce the slug population in your garden you can dig a hole in the ground and bury a small container of beer whereby the slugs will be attracted, fall in and will drown their sorrows, and themselves in the process. Another way is to sprinkle salt on them where they will meet a most horrible gooey death. However, contrary to them dying by salt, I came across this one munching on a crisp this afternoon on my back decking, which I thought was quite an odd thing to witness, to say the least.

Large Red Slug Arion (Arion) rufus

This was a beef and onion crisp, yes it was salted, and it could not get enough of it. It devoured the lot, and mopped up any remaining crumbs in one sitting. After desert (too disgusting to mention) it casually slid off between a narrow crack in the decking.

Large Red Slug Arion (Arion) rufus

Large Red Slug Arion (Arion) rufus

September 2017, Staffordshire, England.

Making Molluscs

Garden Snail Cornu aspersum mating

Apparently if you are a snail and are in a romantic mood all you need is a large green leaf, some shade, and a mate, of course. I found these pair of Garden Snails (Cornu aspersum) enjoying a romantic moment or two this morning at around 8:00, yet they were still at it over two hours later!

Garden Snail Cornu aspersum mating

Garden Snail Cornu aspersum mating

Looks like I am going to have baby snails in a couple of weeks time.


August 2017, rear garden, Staffordshire, England.

Nobody At Home

Garden Snail Cornu aspersum shell

Garden Snail Cornu aspersum shell

I am always fascinated by the intricacies of shells, and how they have evolved to be so. I can’t help but gaze at the top image in wonderment, marvelling at the beauty and bio-engineering involved in its evolution over hundreds of millions of years. All this to protect and shelter the animal inside which had once been feasting on my garden plants.

Garden Snail (Cornu aspersum) rear garden, Staffordshire, England. August 2017.

Common Chrysalis Snail Lauria cylindracea

Common Chrysalis Snail Lauria cylindracea

This is one tiny snail which I never even knew existed until the other week. The shell grows no longer than 4.4mm (0.2in) long. Note it has only one single tooth in the shell opening (see image below), which helps identify this species, and also it is quite a plumpish looking snail with 5 to 6 whorls and a blunt spire compared to other similar species. The snail itself is fairly dark with pale sides.

Common Chrysalis Snail Lauria cylindracea

They are Ovoviviparous, which means the eggs hatch within the body of the animal, and then they give birth to live young. They can live up to 4 years. Quite common and widespread throughout woods, damp grassland and gardens. It can be seen all year round.

Common Chrysalis Snail Lauria cylindracea

Common Chrysalis Snail Lauria cylindracea

July 2017, rear garden, Staffordshire, England.

On The Snail Trail

Garden Snail Cornu aspersum

After another night’s heavy rainfall the Garden Snail (Cornu aspersum) is still out and about.

July 2017, rear garden, Staffordshire, England.

Slow Going

Strawberry Snail Trochulus striolatus


Strawberry Snail (Trochulus striolatus), rear garden, Staffordshire, England. July 2017.

Flash, Again

White-lipped Snail Cepaea hortensis

This was the one that almost got away. So as quick as a flash I just about got him. White-lipped Snail (Cepaea hortensis).


Rear garden, Staffordshire, England. June 2017.

Permanent Residence II

Pfeiffer's Amber Snail Oxyloma elegans

One is a start, two is a couple, and three is a party. Pfeiffer’s Amber Snail (Oxyloma elegans).


Rear garden pond, Staffordshire, England. June 2017.

Permanent Residence

Pfeiffer's Amber Snail Oxyloma elegans

Pfeiffer’s Amber Snail (Oxyloma elegans), appears to have taken up permanent residence on the edge of my back garden pond. Most days, and for weeks, I have seen it on the rocks or on the Yellows Iris.


June 2017.

We Love The Rain

Garden Snail Cornu aspersum
Garden Snail (Cornu aspersum)

After a fair bit of rain I can expect to find these snails out and about in the daytime, where usually they feed under the safe cover of darkness.

White-lipped Snail Cepaea hortensis
White-lipped Snail (Cepaea hortensis)

They can be a pest, especially to my bedding plants and the few vegetables I grow, and my Hosta which looks like it has been riddled with bullets. Yet I still find a fascination with these creatures, and how very well evolved they are for surviving on the land, as opposed to their seafaring cousins.

By the Mesozoic Era, some 248 million years ago, some of these gastropods had adapted in such a way they left the marine environment to live in freshwater and terrestrial habitats. And here they are now, munching through my garden after the June rain has fallen.


Rear garden, Staffordshire, England. June 2017.

Forever Blowing Bubbles

Common Periwinkle Littorina littorea

I don’t know whether periwinkles blow bubbles or not like their terrestrial snail cousins, but this bubble was quite well placed until …

Common Periwinkle Littorina littorea

… it appeared to pop!


Common Periwinkle (Littorina littorea), West Shore, Llandudno, Wales.