Saturday, 1 August 2009
Camera Critters Snails and Slugs
I always have a lot of snails and slugs in my garden, which I really hate for many plants are destroyed during the night. Snails are especially active in rainy weather and at night. Every year they eat my hostas, but this year I put slug-pellets around the plants and I managed to save them.
Common snails have pale grey moist skin. At the front end are four tentacles, the shorter two are for feeling and the longer pair are eye stalks. The shell of these snails is light brown with darker brown bands following the spiral of the shell. The shell colouration varies in its intensity from pale yellow to almost black.
Common snails, like all land snails, are hermaphrodites. This means that they possess both male and female reproductive organs. Despite this they still need to find another snail to mate with. When two snails meet during the breeding season (late spring or early summer), mating is initiated by one snail piercing the skin of the other snail with a calcified 'love dart'. The exact purpose of the 'love dart' is not fully understood but it seems to stimulate the other snail into exchanging small packets of sperm. After mating is complete the snails will produce eggs internally, which are fertilised by the sperm that has been exchanged.
Up to about a month after mating the snail lays about a hundred small white eggs in a nest underground in damp soil. If the conditions remain suitable for the eggs, snails will begin to hatch after about 14 days. Newly hatched snails have a small fragile shell and it takes two years for them to reach maturity. More facts are to be found Here
Jedediah drew my attention to this video by David Attenborough. It's about the mating of slugs. Thank you so much, Jedediah!
Camera Critters is hosted by Misty Dawn. Thank you so much Misty Dawn.We all enjoy seeing and talking about animals. All creatures great and small give us much pleasure.If you want to see more Camera Critters click on the logo in the side bar.