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Snail helix Lucorum

Helix Lucorum or Turkish snail

This type of snails is often called mountain snails. The coastal marine climate of the shores of Southern France, Turkey, the Crimea, Georgia, the Balkan Peninsula, as well as the coast of Italy is the major habitants of the Turkish snail. This mollusk can be found in mountainous territory, in clear meadows, open lawns with rich sea air, grass, and forest belts and in river valleys. If to translate literally, Helix lucorum sounds like a «forest curl» in Latin.

snail-helix-lucorumOne suggests that this mollusk was brought to the countries of Europe from the Roman Empire, where they were used for food. In the Roman Empire, these animals came from ancient Greece, where they were widely used. There is also the assumption that the mucus of these animals has a very favorable effect on the soil.

Since the population of this edible snail is insignificant, it is substituted with grape snails in cooking. This species of animals is included in the red book of Ukraine, in particular to the group of the endemic subspecies of the Turkish mollusk, called «Crimean» or «Krinitsky’s snail». They are often called pets. Classification:

  • Kingdom – fauna
  • Type – mollusks
  • Class – Gastropoda
  • Sub-class- air-breething
  • Family – helycids
  • Genus– Helix
  • Type- Helix lucorum

A distinctive feature of the external color of the snail is the presence of a white strip reminiscent of the equator on the shell. It evenly divides the dark background. It has the shell with a blunt conical curl. The color spectrum varies from reddish-yellow to brownish-black

The shell is unevenly striated by light strips, but there are transverse marks, spiral bands, which are characteristic only of the upper curls.

snail-helix-lucorumDiameter can reach 6 — 7 cm, height can be up to 5 cm. The weight of this giant snail can reach up to 30 g. Body of the mollusk is grey with a greenish tinge.

This type of snail prefers young grains of cereals, thus destroying agricultural crops. However, if there are no fields with sprouted wheat nearby, rotten parts of plants, mushrooms, fallen leaves can be used for food. To digest such a variety of food the mollusk uses special symbiotic bacteria from the stomach

The animal breathes through lungs, while their muscular valve is able to help from drowning. Snails move through muscle tensions, moistening their leg with the slime, which performs protective function. This type is able to regenerate shell and body. In case of insignificant traumas, they are able to regenerate quickly.

A distinctive feature of Helixlucorum is that it does not fall into antibiosis. The reason behind this is its habitat. The temperature of the habitat does not drop too low. The condition of the shellfish is numbness. At the same time, it does not close itself with a protective cover, like Helix pomatia snail, but hides in the ground, showering it from above.

snail-helix-lucorumWhen the Turkish snail is three or four years old, it becomes capable of reproduction. The reproductive age depends on the temperature regime of the habitat: in a hot climate, maturation occurs faster. These animals, as well as their fellow tribesmen, are hermaphrodites. It means that in the process of mating, male and female genital organs are involved. They have a special bag near the mouth hole, used to form calcareous arrows for the future love game. When the partner is found, the mollusks are joined by soles, releasing these arrows to the partner’s body to awaken the creation of reproductive products needed for fertilization. According to the theory, in the process of mating, the roles are distributed according to the following scheme: one partner employs male reproductive organs, and the second one uses female ones. Although, later both partners lay eggs, the validity of the theory is possible.

Preparation for laying eggs is a long stage in the entire breeding chain. Mollusks nurture the future offspring for a long period of time that can last up to sixty days. The period directly depends on the search for favorable soil, climatic mark and presence of nutrients. Each individual is able to lay up to fifty eggs. The size of eggs is six millimeters in diameter. It ripens, like the majority of the Helix family, and becomes capable of independent survival.

According to archaeologists, this species of gastropods existed in the Oligocene epoch, approximately thirty-four million years ago, as evidenced by the fossils found.

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