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Monday, April 25, 2016

Garden Snail

Photo Credit: Überraschungsbilder
Recognized by its slug-like body and the spiral-patterned shell that it carries on its back, the edible garden snail is considered a delicacy by many people.

Not confined solely to gardens, snails are found in a variety of habitats, from coastal cliffs and dunes, to hedges, woods, and parks. Like most land snails, they prefer damp places with plenty of shade.

Snails spend the day with-drawn inside their shell, hidden among crevices or under decaying plant matter. At night, they come out of their hiding place to feed.

Snails in temperate climates hibernates in the winter. During the long, hot, dry spells in the summer, they are in a state of aestivation (inactive state). In both instances, the garden snail withdraws into the security of its moist inner shell. It then further fortifies itself by secreting one or more layers of mucus, which hardens over the hole of the shell to form a protective seal.

Most snails eat leaves of plants such as primrose, nasturtium, and particularly lettuce. Still, snails usually do less damage to gardens than slugs. After foraging for food, their strong homing instinct will lead them back to their roosts.

Did you know?
  • The snail's shell is made up of a lime-rich substance. For this reason, large numbers of snails are found on alkaline soils, which have high lime content. 
  • Garden snails are mainly active during nights or early mornings when the sun is not shinning, however they can be active during cloudy or rainy days. 
  • Garden snails are herbivorous and feed on several kinds of fruit trees, garden plants, crop vegetables and some cereals.

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