Saturday, 1 August 2009

Camera Critters Snails and Slugs

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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.


Dina said...

Snails do have a beautiful spiral, though. So pretty in your photos.

Mara said...

I have decided they can have my hostas. As long as they stay away from the rest of the garden!

Janie said...

Great macro snail shots. These critters do have their own beauty, even if they're garden pests. Interesting info on snail reproduction!

Jedediah said...

That's a beautfiful snail. I wish they wouldn't always eat the plants we want to keep ;)
For some really weird snail love, take a look at this video from David Attenborough's Live in the Undergrowth (I think)

Snap said...

Snails can be so pretty for such a pesky pest. Lovely shots. (I always smile when I visit with the puppy shot as your header!)

Anya said...

Dit jaar valt het mee de hoeveelheid slakken.
Maar het vorig jaar hadden we er zoveel dat er veel planten helemaal werden opgegeten :(

Leuke duidelijke foto's ^__^
Een zonnig weekend..

Kareltje =^.^=
Anya :)

Middle Ditch said...

I too am not too keen on them but sometimes I sit down and watch them. Somehow those ancient creatures are fascinating like so many other creatures. Shame that they almost always eat the plants you treasure.

Happily Retired Gal said...

I used to have snails in my yard before I tore just about everything out and started over more carefully. Although your photos are wonderful, I can report with certainty and I don't miss snails at all!
Hugs and blessings,

Cezar and Léia said...

wow what a story!
Great pictures
purrs and love always

Anya said...

Zo lachwekkend,
`t duurt nog lang bij slakken
Nooit gezien ENIG :)
Bedankt voor de lach ^___^

Rita said...

I always envy people that take such beautiful photos. Those snails are like real life. Gorgeous!!
Even with a digital camera, my photos are just so-so.
Lovely blog.

Carletta said...

They do love their hosta snack!
The shell on this one is beautiful!

My post is here: Carletta’s Captures.

i beati said...

I have always found them to be so fascinating and I'm not talking about eating Sandy

♥ Kathy♥ said...

I didn't know that about the snails (mating habits) but interesting. We don't see a lot of snails around here, mainly just slugs.

Cloudia said...

Valiant little conquerors; I love their spirals, Wil/


Comfort Spiral

Marja said...

Very interesting and beautiful pictures Their house is beautiful
We often have snails.
Last year they were so occupied with a cabbage that they left the lettuce alone

Denise said...

Great shots, that shell is so pretty, we don't get patterned ones here, that I have seen anyhow.

Renie Burghardt said...

Hi Wil,

The snail in your pictures is quite pretty. Interesting information about them. We don't have snails here, that I know of, only slugs, like the other commenter posted. Armadillo's love to snack on slugs. Which is a good thing. Haha.

Hope your weekend has been nice.



Robert V. Sobczak said...

We have lots of slugs here in Florida, ... and yes, they come out after the rains, and eat flowers. Slugs aren't so common.

Vicki Lane said...

That's a beautiful creature -- but then I even find slugs attractive with their graceful eye stalks. I'm not so happy when they destroy my hostas though.

mountain.mama said...

They may be a nuisance but the shells are beautiful.

Anil P said...

I wonder about the snails sometimes, I seem to see so few of them where I now live. Just curious if this is a reflection of the condition of the soil as in pollution.

antigoni said...

I missed your posts all this time i wasn't blogging. With my sister's illness i wasn't in a great mood to write anything. i really enjoyed your photos from the Castle. Great place!

jabblog said...

I don't like killing them though I know they're pests sometimes. I can understand your dislike of providing hostas for them to eat! -and your hostas are spectacular.
(Love your header)

Barbara Martin said...

Beautiful design on their shells, and thanks for the information on them, Wil.

Miss_Yves said...

De belles couleurs! Ces escargots semblent peints !
(Je fais un bref passage et vous remercie de de vos commentaires )