Garden Snails (previously Helix aspersa) are commonly found in our gardens and countryside. They are best observed on a damp warm evening after rain. These 2 were found mating on a plant pot in the greenhouse. Like all Pulmonate snails, they are hermaphrodite (each having both male and female gametes), and exchange sperm during a process that can last several hours. After about 2 weeks each snail will lay up to 80 white eggs, usually in soil under logs and stones. The young snails take up to 2 years to mature. Although these snails are valued in some countries and collected to eat, they are not welcomed by gardeners in Britain!
Two of these slugs were found recently on a dungheap in a farmyard at Callow Hill. This is the first record for this species in this area. Originally from Spain, it was first found in Britain in 1936 and since then has spread to many sites across the country. It is usually found in gardens and around buildings, but has recently been recorded living in woodland. It could be an emerging horticultural pest.
This snail, about 19mm in size, is not commonly found within the forest, but does occur in some damp meadows and along the banks of the River Severn. The shells have a distinctive brown line and mottling, there is a white band around the lip, and the umbilicus on the underside is completely covered over. The body of the snail is typically black as seen in this photograph. These snails do not reach maturity until they are between 2 and 4 years old.
Like all snails in the Clausiliidae this species is sinistral with the opening on the left. (Most snails are dextral). This is one of the larger species of door snails – this one measured 16mm. It has a distinct lip and raised pimples on its skin. This one was living under dead cherry bark in broad-leaved woodland – and was released after the photograph had been taken.
This tiny mollusc grows to about 2mm and is found in ancient woodland. It was first found in the Wyre Forest by Rosemary Hill in 2013. We are still finding it in January during this mild winter.