Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Day 219 - Superly Stripy Swirly Snails

White Lipped Banded Snail ( Cepaea hortensis)
Hi all today's Day 219 and I have recently been at my local forest and, at the end, my Dad spotted a bright little mini-beast that we would have otherwise overlooked. Firstly, they are related to a little thing that was on Springwatch yesterday (the slug) and they use the same sort of thing to move along the ground quickly, but I'll explain about that later. So, from the clues, photos and title you'll know that I am talking about the snail.

So, here are some snail facts:

  • There is a particular type of snail called the Australian Trumpet which can grow to about 3 feet and can weigh 18kg. That's 5 male flamingos stacked on top of each other.
  • Technically, the word snail means anything that have a shell that the animal can disappear completely into. This means some types of slug to.
  • Strangely, they are used as cosmetics. From the Helix aspersa snail, skin creams for wrinkles, scars, dry skin and acne are derived.
    We watched it for quite a while
  • There are a couple of metaphors that snails are used in such as 'a snail's pace' which describes something slow or 'snail mail' which means the usual postal mail instead of e-mail.
  • The snail I have got pictures of here is the White-Lipped Banded Snail which usually grow to about an inch.
  • They can be found in Central Europe and Western Europe but this range close to the Arctic and Northern Europe.
  • Some snails hibernate for a small part of the year, just like this one. It is seen from March to October and for the rest of the year is sleeps.
    It was wresting with a bit of  bark
  • Snails have a relatively long life. Some live for about 5 years, which is still pretty long, while some can live for an amazing 25 years!
  • This type of snail together with some other land snails uses a special tool during mating called a love dart! It's very complicated (from what I read) but snails stab their partners (nice!) with the love dart to increase their chances of getting offspring.
  • This snail can be active in the day when it's damp and mild other wise it finds a sheltered place to rest.
  • White lipped banded snails prefer to eat nettles, ragwort and hogweed.
    It won in the end!
  • You will find this snail in most parts of England, Scotland and Wales as well as some parts of Ireland.

Here are some links to more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. Gorgeous photos, I love their spiral shells! - Tasha