Well Worn But Ready For Autumn

White-lipped Snail – Cepaea hortensis

Photograph of the White-lipped Snail (Cepaea hortensis), taken September 2016, front garden , Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.

Following The Snail Road

Strawberry Snail (Trochulus striolatus)

It still never fails to amaze and fascinate me how Mother Nature has created so many diverse forms of life. And how these differing forms of life have evolved and adapted to their given environments in order to survive the rigors of life. Take the shell of this Strawberry Snail, how beautifully formed and crafted it is, how fine and delicately sculptured, taking the artist millions of years to perfect. Yet, the work is never complete, such is evolution.

I came across the snail pictured in the above two photographs as it was going down to the pond this morning. It is a relatively small snail with a shell diameter of around 12mm.

They are found in woodland, hedgerows and gardens. Common and widespread, but scarce and localised in Scotland.

Photographs taken May 2014 and July 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire.

 

Garden Snail

Cornu aspersum

You only have to pop out into your garden on a rainy day, or venture out during the night hours to find one of these slippery creatures going for your plants. This morning I happened to move my bird bath and there he was, hunkered down and sheltered for the day. However I awoke him, and as grumpy as he was (he blew bubbles at me), he obliged me a photo shoot between rain showers.

The shell of this snail can be marbled brown, black or yellow-ochre, and has fine wrinkles. Shell diameter 40mm.

Individuals contain both reproductive organs and are capable of self-fertilisation, although cross-fertilisation is the normal way.

They live in quite varied habitats, from woodland and hedgerows, to gardens and allotments, where they can be serious pests. Mainly feeding nocturnally, or after rain, they consume various plants, and can do a lot of damage. Common and widespread throughout lowland Britain, absent from most of Scotland.

Photographs taken July 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire.

White-lipped Snail

Cepaea hortensis

As much as I love my garden, these slimy creatures seem to love it more – they are slowly, but surely chomping their way through it!

The shell of this snail is quite variable, ranging from all over yellow  to yellow with dark brown spiral bands. The lip of the shell is almost always white. Shell diameter 16 to 20mm.

They can live for up to 3 years, and are found in gardens, woods and hedgerows. It is actve during the day in wet and mild conditions, found resting or feeding on vegetation. Common and widespread throughout Britain and Ireland.

Photographs taken June 2014, rear garden, Staffordshire.