Tuesday, October 18, 2005

snails and more snails

Its amazing how diverse snails can be when you start really looking at them. I've spent a couple of days taking photos of snails in one particular bird of paradise plant which has attracted hundreds of snails to its leaves.

I have no idea why this particular plant is so attractive, as there are plenty of other bird of paradise plants in the vicinity which don't have snails all over the leaves - its a mystery that only the snails know the answer to.

The shells are interesting -some are very flat , others with very faint patterns and others are very bold and exotic looking.
I don't have any books that identify snails by their shells so I've been trying to identify these on the web- with a wee bit of success. One major problem with identifying snails form pictures is that they can be very different within the same species.
Still i think the shape and colours are really interetsiung, even if i don't have a clue what they are called.

I think this one is most likely the European Brown garden snail Helix aspersa -petit gris in French -which is edible.
The escargot de bourgogne, Helix aspersa or Roman snail is the one most commonly eaten here- its quite a lot bigger so i suppose more meaty for those who like snails.

I thought these two snails snuggled into the curled end of the leaf looked like twins or peas in a pod.

These three were obviously the same kind of snail - the shells were very flat -however i haven't managed ot work out which species they are.


asdsdfdfgfgh said...

Love the photos. We get loads of snails in our garden too (we actively introduced them into the pond to help eat all the green stuff).

The thing that struck me while looking at your photos was the snails handing underneath over-hanging leaves. They must have some courage :) (do snails have courage?)

mia said...

i love your snail photos!
i collected snails like those as a child and let them run in our hallway. The gardener was pleased with me, i doubt my mother was though.......;-)