Monday, 12 January 2015

Snails pace

I am plugging away at the 1000for1ksq challenge. In a patch not blessed with much birdlife, it is slow going for starters. With my AIDGAP snail key arriving today, I decided to look for snails under rocks along the Rough Road, a damp and stony road leading from All Stretton to the Jinlye.

This tactic worked remarkably well, and I found two small snails. I assume they were of the same species but potted both anyway. I then spent this evening with the key identifying the snails, much to the bemusement of my long-suffering and patient wife.

I had succes though, and both species were identified and confirmed. The first is actually a common species, which for most people is not too much of a challenge. But for me, who has never really looked at snails, it is a journey of new discoveries! This is the Rounded Snail (Discus rotundatus), a very distinctive small snail with dense ribbing on the shell and bands of red. This species is a fungi and detritus feeder, performing an essential function for ecosystems.

Rounded Snail (Discus rotundatus)

The other snail was a different species, and harder to identify. However, I did get there and pinned it down as Shiny Glass Snail (Zonitoides nitidus). This species has a waxy, rather than glossy shell, with low straie, a milky patch around the umbilicus and it over 5mm, helping to identify this species.

Shiny Glass Snail (Zonitoides nitidus)

Shiny Glass Snail (Zonitoides nitidus)

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