Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Day 95 - The Beauty of the mini-beasts part 3

Hey everyone,

Well it's day 3 of my trip and I've probably been canoeing or scrambling today. It's day 95 of my posts and time for part 3 of my panto inspired Beauty of the Mini-Beasts.

Plaited Door Snail (Cochlodina laminata)
Today I've got a mini beast that's not an insect, its a mollusc. I'm talking about a snail, and as a group they are the most common form of mollusc and there are about 60,000 species. The species I'm looking at here is the Plaited Door Snail, or at least I think so. This one is very colourful compared to the pictures I've seen online.

I found the little guy in this picture at Rievaulx Terrace whilst walking through the woods after a pretty rainy few days. I noticed it as it was such a pretty little thing with a really unusual shaped shell.

So what have I found out about these little creatures?

  • Snails are hermaphrodites, they are both male and female. They still need to mate though to be able to lay eggs.
  • Snails will hibernate in winter, and sometimes in droughts in summer. They will sometimes gather together before sealing themselves in their shells with mucus to stop them drying out.
  • Snails can live for quite a long time, some for around 5 years but its thought others can live for up to 25 years!
  • They are very slow, moving around on a film of mucus to reduce friction. This means they are often food for other species. They survive by making sure they breed in good numbers.
  • Even though they are food for many creatures they have been around in various forms for almost 500 million years!
  • The Plaited Door Snail likes to live in woodlands and climbs trunks to eat algae and lichens. 
  • They like to stay hidden away in the damp and don't like places where the leaf litter is disturbed. I probably only got to see this one as it had been so wet it was probably trying to escape being drowned!
  • They are 15-17mm long
  • The shell has a left-handed spiral which twists round 11 times.
  • In Scotland and Ireland it is on biodiversity and conservation lists as it is quite rare there.
Well, I didn't know what a special little creature this was until I did my research, I just thought it was pretty and nice to have a photo of! I'll be looking out for them again when I'm next at Rievaulx.

If you want to find out a bit more about them try these links:

Hope you enjoyed,


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