10 October 2007

Aliens in Montreal


These snails, an Oxychilus species, were quite common in the backyard of my sister's house in Montreal. They did not smell like garlic (yes, I did pick one up and smelled it), so I am ruling out O. alliarius. The larger one was 10 mm in diameter. I am inclined to call them O. cellarius, but they could also be O. draparnaudi.

There are no Oxychilus species native to North America. So, regardless of what species they may be their ancestors were introduced from Europe most likely within the last 200 years.

I wanted to keep 2 of them for a future dissection, but I hadn't brought any alcohol with me. So I killed them in a little bit of beer and then preserved them, until I came home, in a few milliliters of Turkish rakı, which, with an alcohol content of 45%, surpassed Absolut vodka by 5%. They now have a nice anise smell.


Susan H said...

Hi Aydin,

I will be interested to see what you find out when you dissect them.

In my experience, at least in England, specimens of Oxychilus draparnaudi usually have bodies that are a really beautiful dark blue color, and they have a handsome shiny shell which gets pretty big and elegant-looking when full grown. I guess these could perhaps be juveniles of that species?

I must say though that these look surprisingly flat to me, almost planispiral, they don't look 100% familiar to me...

Kevin Z said...

Aydin, Aydin, Aydin, You should know never to leave home without your fixation kit! I keep mine in an amazon.com box in the back of my outback!