Kentish Snail

x3 images. Double click to enlarge.

The Kentish Snail (Monacha (Monacha) cantiana) is one of the commonest snails I notice on my walks along the edge of local woodland.

The shell has a lovely mottled appearance, which can vary. It is one that can be found in gardens, too, but I have not seen any here in my own.

Riding The Storm

White-lipped Snail (Cepaea hortensis) – Storm Francis is battering us here in the UK, and after the rain had stopped and with the sun coming out briefly, I popped outside and came across this little one on the side of my planter. Not everyones favourite, I know, but they have a beauty of their very own in colour and form. You do have to zoom in to see what I mean. I believe this one was eating algae or lichen.

White-lipped Snail Cepaea hortensis


It’s an odd thing to say, perhaps, but I feel a stillness and a calm with this simple image of a snail nestled in the fold of a nettle leaf. Maybe it is because there is so much going on in the world right now, so much has happened and is still happening, peoples minds are unsettled and unsure of the future, as a harsh wind of change has circled the globe. The snail appears rested, calm, nestled in the fold of a nettle leaf. Double-click image to enlarge if you wish.


© Peter Hillman ♦ 8th April 2020 ♦ Local woodand ride, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200

Growing Up

White-lipped Snail (Cepaea hortensis) juvenile – A new generation of snails are appearing in the garden, ready to munch their way through it. This little one has such a delicate and elegant looking shell. Double-click to enlarge image.

White-lipped Snail Cepaea hortensis juvenile

© Peter Hillman ♦ 12th April 2020 ♦ Rear garden, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200

Hairy Snail ?

I found this juevenile snail today. It is teeny-weeny small. But the startling thing I discovered about it when I got the photos on the PC was that the shell had fine hairs on it. Apparently this helps it stick to the leaves when feeding. Double-click image for a closer look.

Juvenille Snail

© Peter Hillman ♦ 3rd April 2020 ♦ Rear garden, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200

Under A Strip of Bark

Discus Snail Discus rotundatus

By my plant pot full of moss I have a strip of bark leaning against some heather. Occasionally I will lift it to see what is sheltering in the dark and damp place it helps create there. Clinging to the underneath of the bark I found a 5-7mm (around 1/4 inch) Discus Snail (Discus rotundatus). For such a small creature it has such amazing detail and colours.

Double click if you wanna get closer…

October 2019 © Pete Hillman.

On The Edge

White-lipped Snail Cepaea hortensis

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

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.

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.

The Hidden World beneath Our Feet

Spotted Wolf Spider Pardosa amentata spiderling
Spotted Wolf Spider (Pardosa amentata) spiderling. For scale compare the distorted S-shape just below it, which is slug poop

Beaneath our feet is a hidden world of wonder which many of us do not get to see. Yet it is there all the time. Earlier I lifted up a plant leaf that was trailing across a flagstone, a simple act, and peered beneath it. I entered ‘their’ world.

Tomocerus minor
Tomocerus minor, a springtail

Common Chrysalis Snail Lauria cylindracea
Common Chrysalis Snail (Lauria cylindracea) a snail I did not even know existed until today

Please click on an image for a larger more detailed view. Clicking a second time may get you a little closer.

Rear garden, Staffordshire, England. June 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.

Brown-lipped Snail

Cepaea nemoralis

Brown-lipped Snail (Cepaea nemoralis)

Also known as the ‘Grove Snail’ or the ‘Banded Snail’, the lip of the shell is always dark brown. The shell colour is variable, from cream, yellow, brown or pink, and is often similar to the White-lipped Snail (Cepaea hortensis). Shell diameter 20 to 24mm.

Brown-lipped Snail (Cepaea nemoralis)

Found in a range of habitats, but favours woodland, hedgerows, meadows and sand dunes. Also found in gardens. It feeds on a wide range of vegetation. Common and widespread throughout, except northern Scotland.

Brown-lipped Snail (Cepaea nemoralis)

Brown-lipped Snail (Cepaea nemoralis)

Photographs of Brown-lipped Snail (Cepaea nemoralis), taken October 2011, local field, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2011. Camera used Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38.

Kentish Snail

Monacha cantiana

Kentish Snail (Monacha cantiana)

Also called the ‘Kentish Garden Snail’, the shell is mainly a light buff colour, graduating to a darker brown flush towards the mouth opening. Shell diameter 15mm.

Kentish Snail (Monacha cantiana)

Found in gardens, disturbed ground, waste ground, road verges and dunes. Introduced to Britain by farmers in late Roman times. Common and widespread.

Kentish Snail (Monacha cantiana)

Photographs of Kentish Snail (Monacha cantiana), taken June 2012, found under rotting log, local wood,  Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2012. Camera used Nikon Coolpix P500.

Common Periwinkle

Littorina littorea

Common Periwinkle (Littorina littorea)

Also called the ‘Edible Periwinkle’, the shell is variable in colour, from black and grey to brown, white or red, and usually patterned with spiral dark lines. It is conical in shape with a pointed apex. This is the largest British periwinkle, but is usually smaller than 50mm.

Common Periwinkle (Littorina littorea)

It favours rocky shores upper to lower zones with a good covering of seaweed. It can also be found in mud-flats or esturaries. The Common Periwinkle is a herbivore which grazes on seaweeds. Widespread and abundant throughout.

Common Periwinkle (Littorina littorea)

Photographs of Common Periwinkle (Littorina littorea) taken June 2012 (top 2 photos) and April 2014 (bottom photo), Llandudno, Wales. © Pete Hillman 2012 and 2014. Cameras used Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38 and Nikon D3200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.

A Petal For A Bed

Garden Snail – Cornu aspersum

Photograph of Garden Snail (Cornu aspersum) taken in September 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens. ISO 400. 1/50 sec. f/7.1.

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.

American Slipper Limpet

Crepidula fornicata

American Slipper Limpet (Crepidula fornicata)

This limpet has a humped, smooth shell with variegation in colour, usually pinkish, orangey, cream or purplish. It has a fairly thick shell with a shelf on the underside, which resembles a slipper. Shell length 5cm. Shell height 2.5cm.

American Slipper Limpet (Crepidula fornicata)

It is found on the lower shore, attached to rocks and other shells, and they form stacks of up to ten individuals or more. They begin life as males, and then change progressively to become females. An introduced species from north-east America in 1887, the Slipper Limpet is quite an invasive species which competes with native oysters for space and food, and is also a threat to Common Mussel beds. Common and widespread.

Photographs of American Slipper Limpet (Crepidula fornicata), taken August 2012, Bournemouth, Dorset, . © Pete Hillman 2012. Camera used Nikon Coolpix P500.

Following The Storm

White-lipped Snail (Cepaea hortensis)

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

Dog Whelk

Nucella lapillus

The Dog Whelk’s shell is variable in colour, from white to dark brown, yellow or banded. Thick-shelled, it is broadly conical bearing spiral ridges with a short spire. Shell height 3 to 5cm.

It is a fierce predator of mussels, barnacles and other molluscs. It bores a hole into the prey’s shell using its radula. Its digestive juices dissolve the prey and it sucks it up with its proboscis. It produces yellow egg capsules which are fixed in clusters under rocks. It can live for up to 10 years.

Found in all types of rocky shores from the middle shore downwards, on rocks, under overhangs and in crevices. Common and widespread.

Photographs taken April 2014, Llanduno, Wales, and August 2015, Meadfoot Beach, Torquay, Devon.


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.

Flat Periwinkle

Littorina obtusata

The colour of the shell of this small snail varies depending on its habitat, and it can be green, orange, yellow, brown or black. There are also banded and chequered patterned forms. The head tentacles of the animal have two lines along them. The shell is finely reticulate. Shell height up to 1.5cm.

Found on the middle to lower shower on large brown seaweeds such as Egg Wrack (Ascophyllum nodosum) and Toothed Wrack (Fucus serratus) on which it feeds. Common on widespread throughout.

Photographs taken August 2015, rockpool, Meadfoot Beach, Torquay, Devon.

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.