Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Garden snail, Cornu aspersum.

Hello again

This is another short re-post from the FEET blog, I thought it was worth showing the world.

I think everyone is has seen the following creature, the Garden snail, Cornu aspersum. If you are a gardener, you will most likely hate it. It's the most common snail in the world. It  is edible, but should not be confused with helix pomatia, the “Escargot”. You would not find me eating these things. Accounts from people how have eaten them in France or Morocco, describe them as, "chewy, similar to whelks in texture and earthy". That's after cooking them with garlic! I tried whelks many years ago. I got as far are chewing one for few minutes, to discover it didn't get any smaller and tasted like a fisherman's wellington boot, (I imagine).

I was watching one in our garden eating one of our plants and realised that apart from being disliked as a garden pest, they are more or less overlooked. SO, out with the camera and I got a nice set of photos. They are very slow, their fastest speed is only 1.3 centimetres per second. Even so, people do hold snail races. These are taken very seriously. I remember are report in a publication sometime in the mid 1970s, where someone had poisoned the snail which was the favourite in a race. It was called Flash, poor thing.

This snail has a strong homing instinct and spends the day, often in large groups, beneath stones and other structures. It comes out after it has been raining, or when it's cool and the sun is not shining.

Size: Shell height: 25 - 35 mm, Shell width: 25 - 40 mm.
Food plants: Almost any vegetable matter, including some cereals.
Habitat: Parks, gardens, woods, hedgerows and dunes.
Reproduction: Hermaphrodite, but prefers to mate with another snail. Mating can last from 4 to 12 hours.

Garden snail, Cornu aspersum.

 Snail eating

Detail of one eye stork.

Until next time, take care.
Gordon.

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