Slugs & Snails
Slugs and snails are very important. They provide food for all sorts of mammals, birds, slow worms, earthworms, insects and they are part of the natural balance. Upset that balance by removing them and we can do a lot of harm. Thrushes in particular thrive on them!
One snail can have 430 babies a year, and each snail can have up to 14,000 teeth – and that’s the stuff of nightmares! Hedgehogs are natural pest control, there are lots of ways you can entice them to your garden.
||Amber Snail - Succinea putris
John F Oct 2016
Of all native terrestrial snails, amber snails have the closest connection to water, but still they never actually live in the water, though they may live on plants growing there.
Amber snails have got a thin walled translucent shell often amber coloured, whose spire usually is very small compared to the huge apertural whorl. An amber snail's aperture rim is sharp and there is no apertural lip. In this regard, amber snails are similar to pond snails (Lymnaeidae). Between different populations there may often be extreme, even hereditary, differences in size, which sometimes makes the determination of species very difficult.
||Black Slug - Arion ater agg
John F 24-11-2020
Generally black in colour but they are a variable species with brown, grey, orange or rust coloured forms being seen. The brown form is under dispute with some classifying it as separate species, Arion rufus, the Red Slug, apparently an introduced species. The national recorder now records them all as Arion ater agg. Colour morphs are regarded as being geographically located with the black forms more to the north, whilst the lighter forms more to the south.
They grow to about 10–15cm (4–6in) in length and are an omnivorous species, eating carrion and dung as well as vegetable matter. Largely nocturnal and living for about a year large numbers can be seen after daytime rain. Clusters of pearly–white spherical eggs, about 5mm (0.25in) in diameter, are often dug up in the garden and compost heaps. They are hermaphrodites.
||Brown-lipped Snail - Cepaea nemoralis
The brown-lipped snail is a common terrestrial snail in Britain. It can be distinguished from the similar white-lipped snail by the brown band around the opening of the shell.
Aside from the brown banding, the colour of the shell can vary greatly between snails, from very light to very dark. This polymorphism is thought to be contributed to by camouflage but there is no definite answer.
This snail lives in a variety of habitats, including gardens, hedgerows, woodlands and grasslands.
||Garden Snail - Helix aspersa
Garden snails are herbivorous and feed on several kinds of fruit trees, garden plants, crop vegetables and some cereals.
Snail mouth is beneath its tentacles and it has a toothed ribbon called the radula, which is used to fragment its food. This structure is exclusive of mollusks and most of them have one.
Like other gastropod mollusks, the Helix aspersa is hermaphrodite; this means that it has both male and female organs. However, mating is required for fertilization, even tough self-fertilization is possible for this species.
||Great Ramshorn Snail - Planorbarius corneus
John F March 2017
This empty shell was found in the canal next to area 3 on the map. It measures 33mm in diameter and 14mm high.
Ramshorn snails are very common and come in various sizes. Their shape is as their name suggests. Snails lay eggs on the plants in the pond, the eggs are covered in jelly to protect them. When the eggs hatch they are full of little baby snails. These snails use lungs to breathe air, but since they can trap and store some air inside their shells, they can tolerate water with low dissolved oxygen.
They eat algae. They are eaten by fish, tufted ducks. They lay disk-shaped gelatinous clusters of eggs adhering to anything - plants, rocks etc. Plants also seem to be a choice for egg-laying.The ramshorn snails are all shaped like a flat coil, or the horn of ram.
||Irish Yellow Slug - Limacus maculatus
John F 24-11-2020
A medium to large slug with pale greenish-grey body overlaid with large irregular dark green markings. Keel very short, sole whitish or yellowish. Mucus pale yellow to deep orange. Tentacles grey to bluish. A common variant has the dark mottling broken up into fine spots which create a spotted appearance rather similar to that of Limacus flavus. A late introduction from south-east Europe, now widespread and common.
In Britain this is still a local and synanthropic species whereas in Ireland, though common in towns and gardens, it is also widespread in the general landscape. There has been a perceptible increase in abundance in recent decades with urban habitats seeing a particularly dramatic change.
||White Lipped Snail - Cepaea hortensis
John F - Sept 2016
The white-lipped banded snail has a glossy, smooth shell, which is
typically yellow in colour but may be pink, brown or red, with up to 5
variable spiral dark bands and an obvious white lip around the aperture. Occasionally a dark-lipped form of this species may arise, which makes identification more complicated. It is similar in appearance to the brown-lipped banded snail (Cepaea nemoralis), but it has a thinner shell, with more rounded whorls. The body of the snail is usually greenish-grey becoming yellow towards the rear.
|Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black
Arion ater agg.
Amber Snail - Succinea putris
Black slug - Arion ater agg.
Brown-lipped Snail - Cepaea nemoralis
Budapest Slug - Tandonia budapestensis
Common garden slug - Arion distinctus
Common Garden Snail - Helix aspersa
Discus Snail - Discus rotundatus
Dusky Slug - Arion subfuscus
Great Ramshorn - Planorbarius corneus
|Greenhouse Slug - Ambigolimax valentianus
Irish Yellow Slug - Limacus maculatus
Keeled Ramshorn - Planorbis carinatus
Kentish Garden Snail - Monacha cantiana
Leopard Slug - Limax maximus
Strawberry Snail - Trochulus striolatus
White-lipped Snail - Cepaea hortensis