06 July 2014

What Saves a Snail from Falling into the Rainwater Tank?

Surely, survival of shell-bearing land molluscs is influenced by many factors, but sometimes all it comes down to is the width of their shell :)

My landlord collects rainwater from the roof in a big underground tank and to avoid animals and tenants falling in, he covers it with a piece of fencing. I have seen bees and hoverflies getting a drink there and there are also many mosquito larvae in the water, but this little pink Cepaea snail surprised me by the choice of its location for the daytime nap. I do think it was trying to get to the water or at least climb through to the underside of the fencing, but - oopsie - it got stuck!

Had it gone through, there is a chance it would fall through and at some point land at the bottom of the tank and while snails are quite good in surviving in the water for a long time (my boyfriend once pulled a snail with a cracked shell from Woking swimming pool - chlorinated water - and it lived for more than a week after, but unfortunately it did not make it), I have seen many drowned molluscs in the pond at our cottage.

Getting the creature out was quite a job, but I am proud to announce that it has been safely moved to some nice wet soil under a plant juicy-looking leaves. Live long, snail!

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