Mountain snail, Lucorum or Helix Lucorum is a type of mollusk, inhabiting Asia Minor, Iran, Caucasus and Balkan and Crimean semi islands. This type of snail looks like grape snail. It is consumed and actively used in cosmetology and medicine.
General features of Helix Lucorum
The Lucorums have similar appearance with Helix Pomatia. They have a spherical shell with a diameter of 4-5 cm. It has five turns. The shell is dark, brown (the base is light, but it is perceived as dark due to the stripes). A distinctive feature of color, which allows recognizing Lucorum is numerous red-brown spiral lines. The weight of a typical Lucorum is 25 grams.
In natural conditions, Helix Lucorum prefers eating rotted green parts of plants and fallen leaves. Sometimes, it consumes soil and mushrooms. Young Lukorums also eat crops, so this type of snail is a pest.
Mountain snail lives in warm and wet climate. It does not fall into anabiosis unlike Helix Pomatia, however, it hides in the soil in the dry summer periods. The activity of the snails decreases, when temperature increases from 30 degrees calcium and higher.
Optimal temperature for Lucorum is 25-30 degrees, when the humidity is 85 percent. Therefore, they can be met in forests and bushes, but near the lakes.
This type of snails spreads all over the territory in conditions of favorable climate. Thus, Helix Lucorum inhabit:
- deciduous forests;
- fields and meadows;
- territories near water;
- the parks;
- populated areas.
Helix Lucorum activity begins in mid-spring and lasts until early September. Mountain snails, like many other mollusks, are hermaphroditic (both male and female), because each individual is able to lay eggs.
In natural conditions, up to 75% of eggs survive. In the artificially created farms, this value can be increased by creating safer conditions. 25% of eggs die because of adverse environmental factors and the characteristics of Lukorum, among whom cannibalism is frequently met. One individual of the mountain snail may lay its eggs in the same place as the other, previously destroying its eggs.
Helix Lucorum eggs lay 4.4 mm. The incubation period for caviar lasts from 22 to 27 days, while under the most comfortable conditions (20 degrees Celsius, 85% humidity), it can be reduced to 19.
After hatching, young snails need protection and additional feeding. At the same time, they are highly vulnerable to the enemies of mollusks: hedgehogs, moles, birds and some insects. It contributes to the mortality of young snails that reaches 89%. in farms, it is usually possible to reduce it to 30%.