Sunday, 16 August 2015

Day 279 - Wonderfully Stealthy Water Snails

Great Pond Snail (Lymnaea stagnalis)
Hey All Day 279 and another post that I started before I headed to Norfolk but didn't get chance to finish off. I saw this lovely little creature in the crystal clear waters of the Glacial lake that is Lake Gormire on the edge of the fabulous North York Moors. You can see from the photos just how clear the water is - in fact so clear you probably, ironically can't see it in the photos, but honestly this little beauty was under the water at the lake edge.

I've been looking up snails on the web and I think it's a Great Pond Snail so I've done my research on this species. It's shell isn't as long and point as some pics I've seen on the web so I'm not 100% sure.

Well here's the facts I found:
It moved quite smoothly through the water.

  • The second part of their Latin name, stagnalis, means they prefer stagnant water - Lake Gormire doesn't look very stagnant so I guess they're ok in fresh water, this one was quite big, about 4-5 cm long in all.
  • The shell is a shiny yellowish brown with a tall slender spire.
  • They like slow moving or still water with plenty of aquatic vegetation.
Fully expanded
  • Great Pond Snails live mainly in England, they are widespread here, but much more scare in Wales and Scotland.
  • Didn't expect this but they are omnivores! Not only do they eat the aquatic vegetation they will detritus (decaying plant matter on the pond bottom), carrion (dead animal matter), other snails, insects and even small fish and newts!
  • They lay big long strips of tough eggs in jelly on the underside of vegetation. There may be as many as 300 eggs in a mass
  • They are eaten by Great Crested Newts and a number of species of water bird. They may make a nice lunch but they might pass on to the bird a parasite which lives in them in its larval stage and then becomes an adult in the water bird.
  • Whilst they live in the water they are an air breathing snail.
Well, quite an interesting little creature to find in the waters edge, if you want to find out more try these site:

Hope you enjoyed,


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