About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Photo Share: Giant snails in the garden

Hi Sarah, This is from my garden this morning. Maybe you can write something about how snails are good for the soil? Katie in San Diego, CA
The Brown Garden Snail (Cornu aspersum) is native to the Mediterranean area and Western Europe. It was introduced to California in the 1850s as a source of escargot and they adapted well to the climate. While the snail was relished as a food item in some areas, it is now widely regarded as a pest in gardens and in agriculture. The Brown Garden Snail feed on numerous types of fruit trees, vegetable crops, rose bushes, garden flowers, and grasses.

On a positive note, they are also good at breaking down rotting plant debris and on
occasion will scavenge animal matter, such as crushed snails and worms. And snails are a good food source for many bird species, small mammals, lizards, frogs, centipedes, and predatory insects.

Most land snails are nocturnal, but following a rain may come out of their hiding places during the day. They move with a gliding motion using a long, flat, muscular organ called a foot. Mucus is constantly secreted by glands in the foot, which facilitates movement and leaves a slimy trail. The snail moves at a top speed of about 50 yards per hour.

Katie thank you for sending these really cool photos! It's fun to see what's going on out west. Your snails are magnificent. We tend to only have the slugs in Michigan. If anyone else would like to share a photograph of nature send it to bloubird@gmail.com with a description and permission to post it on the Friday Photo.

Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornu_aspersum
http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/gastro/brown_garden_snail.htm

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