Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's a Boy! (and a girl)

Okay, so snails (well most land snails) are hermaphroditic— I can't really pick out a color for the walls—but what you're seeing above are freshly hatched snails. I found a large clutch of eggs when I was cleaning out my terrarium to combat mites and so removed them to a couple separate petri dishes. It seems the petri dish that stayed dryer is first to have hatches, with one individual hatching a day ago and the rest following suit a day later.

There are only a handful of possibilities for what these little snails will become based on what is in the terrarium. It holds the following species: Stenotrema hirsutum(1), Ventridens ligera (3, maybe 4 but one really doesn't "measure up"), Xolotrema denotata(2 but I doubt have reached sexual maturity as I found them a few months ago still without identifiable characteristics), Novisuccinea ovalis(1), Anguispira alternata(1), Triodopsis tridenata (1, but very new to the tank, can't remember if came before eggs), and, my top contender for what these babies are, Neohelix dentifera(1).

UPDATE: As you can see by the laconic comment below, these snails are likely the Anguispira alternata. I was so focused on how big I thought the eggs were that it had to be the largest snail in my tank but you can see how these little guys look like they grow into ribbed adults and have color blotches a la Anguispira alternata. Learning experience!! I would never make such a bad call birding, fixating on one criterion. Proof positive that inexperience is definitely a detriment. The only solution: work my ass off to get experience.

As time goes on, I'll find the answer. An interesting characteristic is that the snails have two transverse bands of dark color towards the end of their body whorl. And, for scale, I should mention that they average about 2.35mm in width.

Currently I also have another polygyrid waiting to grow into identification that has periostracal structures, so I've got a lot to look forward to. Yes, I'm a total nerd. But I'm a sexy nerd.


  1. Based on size of the eggs I thought the Neohelix because it was the biggest, but now that you say it I can see how Anguispira looks like a good fit! Sometimes the inexperienced overlook the obvious!! It's that way in birding and now I'm personally proving it's that way in snailing too. Thanks for the feedback!