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Helix pomatia in nature

There are several names of grape snails. Scientific title is Helix pomatia, while cooks call it escargot. This type of snail is the hugest in Europe, except its Northern part. It van be also found in Baltic sea.

Grape snail’s area of habitat

Habitants of grape snails are numerous in nature. They can live in water and soil, where there is enough greenery. In addition, mollusks like ling in chalky soils that they consume in order to make their shell stronger.

The most comfortable climate conditions for Helix pomatia?

Helix pomatia in natureThe temperature of 7 degrees is optimal for escargot to wake up. When the temperature is lower and the season is wry, they burrow into the ground by 30 cm and fall into anabiosis. Snails live, feed and breed in a humid climate.

On average, snails can fall into anabiosis  for 3 months (90 days). However, in some regions (for example, Belarus), this state can be increased up to 5 months. When wintering for two months, grape snails can live as usual, however they become less fertile.

The period of the snails’ life?

In case of absence of predators, Helix Pomatia can live up to 20 years. Howrver, its average lifespan is eight years, however, in case snails are surrounded by favorable conditions, they can live longer. The most famous record is 30 years. What is the reason of such a difference? There are many enemies of snails

  • moles;
  • lizards;
  • dibblers;
  • grass snakes;
  • some small insects that can penetrate the respiratory system;
  • snails-predators.

Snails’ protective mechanisms

Due to a number of protective mechanisms, grape snails can adopt to any difficulties:

  1. Slime facilitates movement and friction. Mucus creates a sort of a protective pillow, allowing helix pomatia to move everywhere both horizontally and vertically.
  2. Epiphram. This think type of mucus hardens in air. In case the conditions of the environment are not favorable for the snail, it hides inside the shell and closes the entrance to it with the help of the stopper, created with the help of epifragm. The snail breathes through the layer of the air, that penetrates through this door.

The grape snails’ food

Helix pomatia in natureHelix pomatia is a herbivore, so it prefers eating the greens and vegetables. The most preferable types of food are

  • dandelions;
  • plantain;
  • leaves of grapes and wild strawberries;
  • radish;
  • horseradish;
  • burdock;
  • nettle.

Due to the fact that snails are unable to chew, they grind the food with the help of small teeth. In order to consume calcium, snails eat soil, especially young escargot that have just been hatched.  The grape snail cannot chew; it grinds food with thousands of its small teeth, like a grater.

Reproduction

Grape snails are hermaphrodites; therefore they have the features of males and females. The breeding season is spring and early autumn. After mating, they lay their eggs in the ground and leave them in the ground at a depth of 5-10 cm.

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