11 Oct 2010
in Cantareus apertus, Growth, Information & details, My slimies, Photos
Tags: africa, animal, animals, biology, cantareus apertus, close-up, cooking, culinary, escargots, food, garden, gastropods, growth, helix aperta, invertebrates, italy, macro, macro monday, malachology, mediterranean, meme, molluscs, mollusks, moniceddi, municedde, municeddhi, nature, pet, pets, photo, photography, photos, pic, pics, pictures, salento, science, snail, snails, species, wildlife, zoology
A lucky encounter with a juvenile Cantareus apertus, also known as the green snail. Native of the Mediterranean and North Africa, these snails spend most of their life underground, but emerge after rain. Subadults like this one have a yellowish-green shell and body, which will darken with time: as adults they are almost black fleshed and have uniformely brown shells.
In spite of their small size (about 2,5-3 cm in diameter), these snails are highly prized for culinary purposes, especially in southern Italian peninsula of Salento, where they are known as municeddhi, municedde or moniceddi. (They are said to be far superior to other edible snails, even Helix pomatia)
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about Macro Monday at Lisa’s Chaos!
10 Oct 2010
in Cornu aspersum, Growth, Information & details, My slimies, Photos
Tags: animal, animals, babies, baby, biology, color, colour, gastropods, growth, invertebrates, malachology, molluscs, mollusks, nature, pet, pets, photo, photography, photos, pic, pics, pictures, pigmentation, science, snail, snails, species, zoology
Six-week old Cornu aspersum (a.k.a Cantareus aspersus or Helix aspersa), the common garden snail. Born transparent, they began developping shell pigmentation after a couple of weeks, starting with the bands. The final pattern of their shells however won’t be certain until they have fully grown: until then the bands continue evolving as the shell grows and may become thicker or thinner, darker or lighter, and adjacent bands may merge into a single, broader one while others may simply fade and disappear. As such, even if apparently all juveniles developped five bands at first, adults may have less.
Their bodies are still light coloured: body pigmentation will take a few months to become apparent, starting with their head and dorsal stripe.
09 Oct 2010
in Arion spp., Cornu aspersum, Euglandina rosea, Feeding, Information & details, Linguistics, Papers, Photos, Pomacea bridgesii, Schizoglossa novoseelandica
Tags: adelphophagy, animal, animals, biology, cannibalism, etymology, gastropods, greek, invertebrates, latin, linguistics, malachology, molluscs, mollusks, nature, papers, photo, photography, photos, pic, pics, pictures, predation, science, slug, slugs, snail, snails, species, wildlife, woods, zoology
Crawling in a wood in broad daylight, two Arion slugs approach a lucky meal: a dead conspecific. Many snails and slugs are saprophagic, i.e. feed on decaying matter and dead animals. And some of them, like Arion slugs, won’t hesitate to eat dead snails or slugs of their own kind.
Cannibalism in some form or another is not infrequent among gastropods: several snails (including Pomacea bridgesii and other common aquarium snails) will feed on the remains of dead conspecifics, and sibling cannibalism has been observed among hatchlings (e.g. newborns of the common garden snail, Cornu aspersum, will sometimes eat the other eggs that haven’t hatched yet). Few species, however, hunt live individuals of their same species: Schizoglossa novoseelandica being an example. By contrast, despite being known as “cannibal snail”, Euglandina rosea (rosy wolfsnail) will rarely prey upon individuals of the same species.
Intraspecific predation: from Latin intra “within”, predation within the same species = cannibalism
Adelphophagy: from Ancient Greek ἀδελφός (adelphos) "brother" & φάγος (phagos) "eater" = sibling cannibalism
04 Oct 2010
in FAQs, Information & details, Photos, Terraria, Tips & suggestions
Tags: animal, animals, DIY, gastropods, invertebrates, molluscs, mollusks, pet, pets, photo, photography, photos, pic, pics, pictures, plants, projects, science, snail, snails, tank, terraria, terrarium
You just found a little snail in your garden (or was it your salad, maybe?), and despite its slime and all, you actually think it’s a cute critter. So cute that the idea the resident gardener (spouse, parent, neighbour…) wouldn’t think twice about killing it makes you feel sorry for it and you decide to take it home for safety.
Whatever your reasons, congratulations, you have a pet snail! Now what?
Brought to you by popular demand, this post will share with you the basic tips and information for setting up a simple but effective terrarium for local snails READ
02 Oct 2010
in Breeding, Cornu aspersum, My slimies, Photos
Tags: animal, animals, babies, baby, biology, cantareus aspersus, cornu aspersum, garden, gardens, gastropods, helix aspersa, invertebrates, love, molluscs, mollusks, mother, motherhood, mothers, nature, pet, pets, photo, photography, photos, pic, pics, pictures, science, snail, snails, species, wildlife, zoology
Adult Cornu aspersum, carrying one of its newborns
More pictures of the hatchlings.
02 Oct 2010
in Information & details, Limax maximus, My slimies, Photos
Tags: animal, animals, biology, europe, gardening, gastropods, invertebrates, limax maximus, molluscs, mollusks, nature, pet, pets, photo, photography, photos, pic, pics, picture, pictures, science, slugs, species, wildlife, zoology
…and he’s coming for you!
Meet the leopard slug. This shell-less gastropod is notorious for its peculiar mating rituals (but I’ll fully cover this topic in a separate blog post) and owes its vernacular name to the attractive and highly variable patterns of black spots, blotches or stripes that adorn its body. But similarities don’t end here: like a leopard, this slug is an agile, swift and elegant hunter.
When not indulging in a snack of deliciously decaying matter or excrements, this slug is in fact a keen predator, who hunts other slugs, snails and their eggs… a benefit for all gardeners who, in return, are rarely aware of (and thankful for) this service.
Reportedly, these slugs sometimes engage in cannibalistic habits too, although I haven’t personally witnessed any aggressive behaviour between the two specimens I keep and which have so far cohabited quite peacefully.
Assume the defensive stance!
Night crawler: extremely shy by daylight, Limax maximus is almost exclusively a nocturnal creature – more so than Arion species, which I encounter in the wild at any time of the day. Limax maximus, by contrast, will usually spend daytime hiding in a cool, damp place which will only leave after sunset.
Like Arion and other slug species, Limax maximus will react to a threat (real or perceived) by contracting its body, but unlike Arion, leopard slugs seem faster to retreat as soon as a chance arises.
Despite its binomial name suggesting otherwise, leopard slugs are not the biggest slugs of the world – or even of their native Europe, for the matter. The biggest European representative it’s a close relative, Limax cinereoniger.
28 Sep 2010
in Breeding, Helix pomatia, Information & details, My slimies, Papers, Photos, Websites
Tags: animal, animals, articles, babies, baby, breeding, burgundy snail, eggs, escargot, escargots, gastropods, hatchlings, helix pomatia, links, mating, molluscs, mollusks, nature, papers, pet, pets, photo, photography, photos, pic, pics, resources, roman snail, snail, snails
Or: Reproduction and Birth in Helix pomatia.
Blinded by love? Alezan the burgundy snail (Helix pomatia, a.k.a Roman snail) has only one eye. Whether this is the result of trauma or birth defect, it’s unclear, but one thing is certain: it hasn’t prevented Alezan from living a healthy, functional life – or successfully reproducing, for the matter.
Alezan and Margot, mating. Both adults (and fellow Helix pomatia Blanche, not shown)
were purchased from a snail farm in Austria
Mating in Helix pomatia occurs in a frontal, standing position: the two individuals face each other, their pedal soles in contact. As most land snails, Helix pomatia is an incomplete hermaphroditic species, with each individual having both male and female organs, but unable to self-fertilise.
After mating, both adults will lay eggs, in a hole several centimetres deep in the ground, where earth is moist and soft. The eggs are fairly large (about 1cm in diametre). Egg laying is a strenuous activity, which may take up to a full day for a burgundy snail.
Alezan’s babies, leaving the nest: it may take the newborns a few days to leave the underground after hatching
Eggs were laid on September 14, and hatched after two weeks. In the wild hatchlings born so late in the year may not survive their first winter.
17 Sep 2010
in Breeding, Cornu aspersum, My slimies, Photos
Tags: animal, animals, babies, baby, nature, pet, pets, photo, photography, photos, pics, pictures, snails
Barely 3mm in size, these Cornu aspersum explore the world for the first time. Eggs hatched after 12 days of incubation, and the fully formed and self-sufficient baby snails emerged from the ground, crawling their way to food and shelter.
17 Sep 2010
in Achatina fulica, Growth, My slimies, Photos
Tags: animal, animals, gastropods, pet, pets, photo, photography, photos, pics, pictures, snail, snails
Young giant – I was initiated into the world of giant African land snails in 2009, when somebody gave me a baby Achatina fulica, no bigger than a pellet of cat food.
In a matter of 12 months, her shell has grown to a length of 12,5 cm and has developped 9 whorls, an unusually high number for this species.