Thursday, October 22, 2009

Our Newest Pet

Well, not really a pet. In fact, this beautiful snail will be headed to "freezer camp" if I have anything to say about it.
I found it by the pool this morning.

This is a Common Garden Snail or Helix Aspersa. I find them to be anything but 'common'. While quite outgoing (they'll wander around on you without being afraid), they will defoliate a plant in no time flat. Considering, they can reproduce asexually if needed, this becomes a definite problem. One snail lays 80 eggs at a time. That one snail lays eggs, 6 times a year.
Doing a little math--that means one snail can produce 480 baby snails a year. They become 'mature' in two years.
After the two years, those 480 babies lay 80 eggs apiece, 6 times a year.

230,400 snails!

I could do some more math involving the first snail and it's continued egg laying while the first batches mature, but I won't. I haven't had nearly enough coffee to do such things. Just be assured that the number above, is technically larger.
Maybe I'll ask Lee to do the math. The number won't be pretty.

My dear neighbors have fought these snails for years. Major poisons have been put out or they'd loose their landscaping. I'm not quite there yet. What poisons one thing, most often poisons other things. Things like my friendly toad from my previous post.

I also have thousands of Decollate snails. They are the cannibals of the snail world. Between them, the toads, the opossums and raccoons, I think we might keep the Common Garden snail at bay.

2 comments:

  1. You are brave to hold one on your hand, though. ewww slimy!
    I do enjoy watching the slimy critters. They are fascinating.
    We had a Mystery Snail in our fish tank for over a year and I could get entranced for a long time just sitting there watching it slime across the glass as it grazed. :)

    ~Lisa

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  2. You grow 'em big in TX!

    You could grill that thing and make a meal!!

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