|Copyright: Mark Bryan (MAB) (33)|
|Date Taken: 2006-07-06|
|Camera: PENTAX OPTIO 30S|
|Exposure: f/3.5, 1/125 seconds|
|More Photo Info: [view]|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2006-08-05 18:08|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|The grove snail or brown-lipped snail (Cepaea nemoralis) is one of the most common species of land snail in Europe. It is a relatively small snail, growing to a height of about 20 mm and a width of 25 mm. Their semi-glossy shell has from 4½ to 5½ whorls.|
C. nemoralis is closely related to the white-lipped snail, Cepaea hortensis, and shares much the same habitat. The grove snail is usually the larger of the two species when mature, but the principal difference is that the grove snail has a dark brown lip to its shell, whilst Cepaea hortensis has a white lip. However, this distinguishing feature is not entirely reliable as there is at least one morph of the grove snail which also has a white lip.
Apart from the band at the lip of the shell, grove snails are highly polymorphic in their shell colour and banding. They range from almost white, through yellow and pink to dark brown, with a range of light and dark bandings. The bandings vary both in colour and number (but never more than five bands). These polymorphisms have been highly studied as part research in heredity and evolution. They are thought to act as camouflage to avoid predation from, for example, the Song Thrush, but also have implications for the body heat of the animal: darker shells heat up more quickly, with consequences for rates of metabolism and loss of moisture (crucial in snail locomotion). In particular, grove snails with dark brown appear to preferentially be found in dark woodlands, whilst snails with light yellow shells and thin banding are more commonly found in grassland
The grove snail can be found in a range of habitats in northern Europe, most commonly, grassland, hedgerows and woodland. The white-lipped snail has a similar range, but extends further north to border the Arctic.
More recently, the grove snail has been introduced into North America.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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