- Megalobulimus oblongus (Müller 1774):
Megalobulimus oblongus (Muller 1774), Brazil
Megalobulimus oblongus var. albolabiata (E.A.Smith, 1894)
Megalobulimus oblongus var. conicus (Bequaert) Brazil
Megalobulimus oblongus var. formicacorsii (Barattini & Alcalde-Ledón, 1949)
Megalobulimus oblongus var. haemastomus (Scopoli 1786), Uruguay, Brazil
Megalobulimus oblongus var. intertextus (Pilsbry, 1895)
Megalobulimus oblongus var. lorentzianus (Doring 1876), Argentina,
Megalobulimus oblongus var. musculus (Bequaert 1948)
Strophocheilus oblongus, Giant South American Snail
3 cm. Egg
I have identified this species as Megalobulimus oblongus. Mine were wild caught in Barbados and listed as Bulimulus spp. A number of sites have my exact snails pictured and listed as Bulimulus. However, after speaking to an exporter I was told that there has yet to be a study of land snails in Barbados or at least the local authorities have never heard of any. When I look at other Bulimulus snails, mine seem to be more similar to Megalobulimus and in fact look identical as far as I can tell to Megalobulimus oblongus. Coupled with the fact that this species has spread to the Caribbean and is considered a pest, this now seems most plausible.
These snails are about 7-8 cm (shell) long. The species itself can grow to 7-11 cm (shell). They are rather elegantly curved with a slightly bulbous shell which is ridged. The shell is cream leading to some chestnut/pink patches. The second largest whorl has a characteristic bulge. The columella is not truncated and in my specimens it is light pink. The pink shell lip is different to other snails I have seen; being curved back on itself in a very rigid fashion not unlike a trench or canal. This seems an unusual feature as this trench soon gets filled with dirt and soil.
The body is different from Achatininae snails quite considerably, they have rather gelatinous bodies that are somewhat flatter. They produce less mucus and seem to have far less suction, the strongest coming from further down the foot. The snails themselves seem quite heavy although their external body does not. The body is a blueish-grey with browner tubercules/lumps/patches. The foot is cream.
They have huge mouths with a flap either side that contains a row of fronds. Each frond seems capable of independent movement. They definitely use them as a way of feeling around, in what seems like a more useful way than other snails. They really do wave and wiggle them over pieces of food. It looks like us wiggling our fingers gently and slowly.
Their eye-stalks/tentacles are proportionally smaller than other snails, compared to their chubby heads. They have a somewhat different appearance to the more slender and streamlined form of more usual species. They have the genital opening visible but smaller and less swollen.
Main article: Polymorphism (biology) § Grove snail
Native to a large part of the neotropical world including Argentina, Brazil, Columbia and Uruguay. They have spread however to various parts of the Caribbean including Jamaica, Martinique, Barbados and the Lesser Antilles.
Up to 14 years.
They are nocturnal but in a strange way. I first thought that they buried themselves at the first sign of prolonged light. But actually, it seems they work to a routine or body clock. Normally I cover my snails if I'm using the room at night to ensure some normality for them. This coupled with lamps means I can keep a fairly reasonable light dark routine. For my African snails this is 13/11 - 11/13 but I now need to look into light cycles in Barbados. Even with no covers and the light on, they will come out, and they burrow hours after. It doesn't seem to confuse them. But the time actually varies each night. I've not recorded it, something perhaps I should out of curiosity. Even though they are nocturnal, once active they are not at all shy.
Standard care conditions seem appropriate. As with all tropical snails they may need additional heat at certain times of the year. See the main care guide. I have found that below 20°C and over 26°C, they tend to become less active so somewhere between these two is ideal.
Unfortunately so far they have proven to be very fussy eaters, refusing most food I have tried, which is extensive. They will eat copious amounts of lettuce, and tiny amounts of apple, banana, papaya and porridge and occasionally cucumber skin. I am still persevering. I can only assume lettuce is the closest thing to what they normally eat. Unfortunately this makes for a rather limited diet. I have also tried slightly fermented food, thinking this would be more natural but again no interest.
Update: They readily accepted Dandelions and Common Plantain so it seems they are primarily leaf-eaters.
Breakthrough: I have discovered that slicing their food extremely finely is successful. They don't seem to be able to rasp larger items and seem to prefer getting their mouths around the food rather than on top. By slicing the food they take a much healthier variety readily. Also, perseverence has paid off because they are more interested in other foods than they were. It must be noted that the babies I have had were no problem at all, and do actually attempt to eat larger pieces though thin slicing is still more successful. The babies also readily accept cuttlefish bone which the WC ones refuse. Luckily they will eat it powdered and, like most snails, I have discovered they love powdered oyster shell.
Very little information available. For Megalobulimus generally, the snails mature sexually after 3 years, this will be shorter in captivity. They can lay about a dozen large white eggs which hatch in 4-5 weeks.
They lay eggs reguarly, two at a time. They are absolutely huge, 27-30mm each in size, which is enormous for a 80mm snail. Other literature mentions them laying 6-12 eggs but I can't imagine them being able to hold more than two so I am wonder if the dozen eggs are spread out over a season. Before laying the snail looked extremely fat and was bulging from its shell.
Unfortunately I have not had enough success to figure out a winning formula. Only two have hatched so far out of numerous eggs. On opening the eggs well after the normal hatching time, I have not found any half-developed foetuses, just liquid. Out of the two that hatched, one was moved to and hatched in a warm cupboard and the other was left undisturbed in the tank, both different ends of the spectrum so I still don't know if I haven't found the correct method or the eggs are infertile. I have no idea how old the WC parents are so this could be a factor.
Hatchling (1 day old)
Further Reading :
Megalobulimus oblongus haemastoma
- Cepaea hortensis :
White-lipped snail :
The white-lipped snail (Cepaea hortensis) is a medium-sized species of air-breathing land snail, aterrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusc. It is a close relative of the grove snail.
Shell description :
The white-lipped snail is very slightly smaller than the grove snail, the shell being usually about 2.5 cm (1 in) in maximum dimension. Like the grove snail (brown-lipped snail), it has considerable variability in shell colour and banding, although the shell of the white-lipped snail is perhaps most commonly yellow, with or without brown banding. The principal distinguishing feature of this species is a white lip at the aperture of the shell in adult specimens, although very rarely the brown-lipped grove snail can have a white lip, and vice versa.
Binomial name :
(O. F. Müller, 1774)
Cepaea hortensis Shell
The native distribution of this species is Western Europe and Central Europe. The range of the white-lipped snail extends closer to the Arctic in Northern Europe than the range of the grove snail. The white-lipped snail has been introduced to northeastern parts of the USA, but has not established itself as successfully as the grove snail.
The two species share many of the same habitats, such as woods, dunes and grassland, but the white-lipped snail tolerates wetter and colder areas than the grove snail can.
Life cycle :
This species of snail creates and uses love darts during mating.
The size of the egg is 2 mm.
The white lipped snail (Cepaea hortensis)
- Cepaea nemoralis :
The grove snail or brown-lipped snail (Cepaea nemoralis) is a species of air-breathing land snail, aterrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusc. It is one of the most common species of land snail in Europe, and has been introduced to North America.
Cepaea nemoralis is the type species of the genus Cepaea. It is used as a model organism in citizen
Cepaea nemoralis is among the largest and, because of its polymorphism and bright colours, one of the best-known snails in Western Europe. The colour of the shell of Cepaea nemoralis is very variable; it can be reddish, brownish, yellow or whitish, with or without one or more dark-brown colour bands.Names for every colour variant were established in the 1800s; but this system was later abandoned.
The thickened and slightly out-turned apertural lip usually dark brown, rarely white. The umbilicus is narrow but open in juveniles, and closed in adults. The surface of the shell is semi-glossy, and it has from 4½ to 5½ whorls. The width of the shell is 18–25 mm. The height of the shell is 12–22 mm.
The similar species Cepaea vindobonensis is less intensely coloured. The grove snail is closely related to the white-lipped snail, C. hortensis, shares much the same habitat, and has similar shell colour and pattern. The grove snail is usually the larger of the two species when mature, but the principal difference is that the adult grove snail almost always has a dark brown lip to its shell, whilst adults ofCepaea hortensis almost always have a white lip. However, a morph of the grove snail also has a white lip. In areas where lip colour is variable, dissection is necessary: the structure of the love dart is quite different in the two species, as are the vaginal mucus glands. A cross-section of the love dart shows a cross with simple blades, whereas that of C. hortensis has bifurcated blades. C. hortensis has 4 or more branches of body light with reddish or brownish hue, upper side often slightly darker, tentacles darker and 15 mm long.
Apart from the band at the lip of the shell, grove snails are highly polymorphic in their shell colour and banding. The background colour of the shell can sometimes be so pale as to be almost white; it can also be yellow, pink, chestnut through to dark brown, and the shells can be with or without dark bandings. The bands vary in intensity of colour, in width and in total number, from zero up to a total of six.
The polymorphism has been intensely studied from 1940 onwards for its heredity, evolution and ecology. Researchers have variously asserted that the cause is random genetic drift, different natural selection pressures in different areas (the snail often has darker camouflage in woodland, lighter in rough grassland) with mixing by migration, and balanced polymorphism. Balanced polymorphism could arise when a predator like the song thrush has a given 'search image', so it tends to see and kill snails of a particular colour and pattern. Natural selection would then favour a diversity of colours and patterns as an antipredator adaptation. However it appears that no one explanation is the whole answer: most probably, the polymorphism has several causes, including selection of paler, more reflective colours in hot environments to reduce water loss.
Different coloration and banding of the shells of Cepaea nemoralis:
Unbanded yellow form
Yellow with one band
With more bands
Reddish-brown unbanded form
There are many other colour forms
The native distribution of this species is from northern and western Europe to central Europe, includingIreland and Great Britain. The species is rare and scattered in northern Scotland, where it has been introduced. It is not found in the Hebrides, Orkney or Shetland. It seems to have been affected by air pollution and soil acidification in some parts of England.
The species is found in France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, eastwards to northwesternPoland, Czech Republic, SW Hungary, southern Portugal, central Spain, Bosnia, in Italy to Lucania, and as far north as southern Sweden. In Eastern Europe it is found in Latvia,Kaliningrad, Estonia (Hiiumaa island), and Ukraine.
No doubt aided by human transport, this species is a good colonizer, and is often found in gardens, parks and abandoned land in cities. In Eastern Europe it occurs in urban areas. More recently, the grove snail has been introduced to North America, and Venezuela.
The white-lipped snail has a similar range, but that species extends further north, to border the Arctic.
Cepaea nemoralis photographed in Rhode Island
This is a very common and widespread species in Western Europe, occupying a very wide range of habitats from dunes along the coastline, to woodlands with full canopy cover. It lives in shrubs and open woods, in plains and highlands, dunes, cultivated habitats, gardens and roadsides. It can be found up to an altitude of 1200 m in the Alps, 1800 m in the Pyrenees, 900 m in Wales, 600 m in Scotland.
This species feeds mainly on dead or senescent plants. It is not noxious to crops.
Like most Pulmonate land snails, it is hermaphrodite and must mate to produce fertile eggs. Mating tends to be concentrated in late spring and early summer, though it can continue through the autumn.The snails often store the sperm they receive from their partner for some time, and individual broods can have mixed paternity. In Britain it lays clutches of 30–50 (in France 40–80) oval eggs are laid between June and August (in France May–October, in W France until November). The size of the egg is 3.1 × 2.6 mm or egg diameter can be 2.3–3.0 mm. Juveniles hatch after 15–20 days. Maturity is reached when the shell reaches full adult form, which in France is after one year.
This snail is comparatively slow-growing, usually taking three years to develop from an egg to a breeding adult. The life-span for this species is up to seven or eight years, with annual survival rates of about 50% (= 3% in five years, older adults suffer higher mortalities). In winter, the snails mayhibernate, but can become active again during warm spells.
Cepaea nemoralis it is known experimentally to be a host for Angiostrongylus vasorum.
Predators of Cepaea nemoralis include the song thrush (Turdus philomelos) and others.
Love dart of Cepaea nemoralis
Broken shells of grove snails on asong thrush "anvil"
Other Websites :
In the woods again! Looking for rare Cepaea nemoralis colors in Kraków.
Grove snails (Cepaea nemoralis) mating
LAND SNAILS ... Introduction
LAND SNAILS ... Care
LAND SNAILS ... Introduction
LAND SNAILS ... Care
Due to the large quantity of land snails species and the new yearly discoveries we will shortlisted the famous and most colorful and strange shape of these creatures . yet this hobby is challenging for the most of hobbyists ..