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.
Copyright: Peter Hillman
Camera used: Nikon D7200
Date taken: 13th October 2019
Place: Rear garden, Staffordshire
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Looks like I am going to have baby snails in a couple of weeks time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.