Among lovers of exotic Pets broad popular grape snails. They are unpretentious in care, to monitor their life quite interesting for both adults and children. And if in the gardens, these slugs cause a lot of trouble gardeners, at home these snails make wonderful Pets. Who are they, let’s find out.
Helix pomatia belongs to the class of land mollusks. This is one of the largest snails of Europe, leading to its spread from Southeast or Central Europe. The body consists of the torso, consisting of a head and legs, and ribbed shell. Thanks to the ribs becomes possible to accumulate more moisture.
In nature, most often the owner of a brown-yellow shell stripe, but the color may slightly vary from the age of creation, the living conditions and specifics of nutrition. So, older clams gradually acquire a grayish color close to white, shell. Yellow color of the shells found in snails living in arid climates, and brown — the residents of a moist environment.
The size of the shell depends on the age:
- Young specimens diameter of not more than half an inch and has just 2 round;
- The adult acquires a shell diameter of 5 cm or 4 turns of the spiral.
The strength of the shell, consisting of a porous limestone depends on the living conditions of the mollusk: the drier the climate, the stronger. Weighs this “house” a bit. The shell is a very important part of the body of a snail, because under it there are her internal organs — the kidney, the intestines. If it is damaged, the clam is doomed to destruction.
The soft body is placed inside the shell. Clam performs a sliding movement due to the contraction of the muscles of the legs while moving creature both horizontallyand vertically. This is possible due to the fact that glands in the body of the snail secretes a special mucus that allows the shellfish to cling to rocks, trees and walls. Color of head and legs yellow-grey, and the sole lighter. To the question how many legs do snails, you can answer one! Average leg length — from 3 to 5 cm.
On the head of the clam placed the horns of the two pairs, while they have different functions:
- the top — of the eyes;
- the lower lips.
Famous for helix pomatia a large number of teeth, which are placed on the tongue, rubbing food, like a brush.
Life grape snails in nature
These amazing members of the class Gastropoda can be found in nature almost everywhere and in rural areas, and in parks, alleys, roadsides, they prefer edges and dense shrub thickets. But the main condition of stay is high humidity and plenty of greenery.
Necessary grape snails and chalk, limestone soil, where they will be able to lay eggs, and strengthen the sink, using limestone consumption.
How many live snails? The average life expectancy of the garden of the clam — 8 to 10 years, but not all individuals are able to wait for “old age”, as gastropods have a lot of natural enemies: moles, lizards, shrews, snakes, some species of insects, which penetrate into the respiratory system. However, there are isolated cases record the lifetime of 15-20 years, but most often it is the Pets are surrounded by care and attention. The champion of the garden shellfish in captivity has left this world at the age of 35 years!
Interesting wintering process: when the thermometer drops below level 7 °C, the hole in the sink is closed with a special mucus, which during solidification becomes very strong, almost equal to carapace. In this asylum gastropods can survive frosts as low as -10°C. But in order to survive at lower temperatures, a clam buries itself in the soil to a depth of 30 cm the shelter clam will leave only with the onset of heat.
What to eat escargot
Garden clam refers to a herbivore, its diet consists of:
- fallen leaves;
- berries and fruits;
- cabbage, grapes;
- humus (both herbal and vegetable fruit);
- young shoots.
Often the animal have to eat the soil to saturate the body with calcium.
The specifics of reproduction
Garden snail is a hermaphrodite that is one species combines the male and female sex cells. Reproduction occurs in spring, two of the mollusk doing the love dance, then joined soles. This is sexual intercourse, the duration of which can take around 2 hours. Exchanging spermatophore, mollusks crawl.
By the place, the clam digs a small hole and lays about 40 small white eggs, with a diameter of a half centimeter. Crumbs are born about the 26th day. After about a week, their shells become strong and the kids leave the nest.
The farming of snails
Snails are quite often bred at home: these Pets are picky in food and do not require specific knowledge for care. For keeping snails , you should purchase an aquarium, the bottom of which cover them with soil with the addition of granules of activated carbon and housing looked nice, you should put at least a few green plants.
The snail must have permanent access to clean water, so the aquarium should be equipped with a small reservoir. Water should be changed daily. But do not forget — gastropods breathe easy, therefore the soil should not be turned into liquid mud.
In order that the clam does not fall into hibernation, you should provide it with optimum temperature and humidity, to clean the walls of the tank from the slime. Eat home-made grape snail is fresh vegetables and fruits: cabbage, carrots, potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes. Should immediately remove the remnants of food that have already started to rot.
If you want to breed snails, it is necessary to increase their daylight with incandescent or UV lamp.
Also, these shellfish are often bred for the food industry. Their meat is considered a delicacy, rich in proteins and amino acids. And mucus of mollusks is often used medicinally as an excellent remedy for burns and to remove warts.