29 January 2008

Sleeping Triodopsis

DormantTriodopsis1

During my post-lunch walk today, I found some dormant snails under a rotting piece of plywood. All I can tell about their identity is that they are a species of Triodopsis, but figuring out the exact species—usually from the subtle differences in the positions of the apertural teeth—will take more effort than I can put in now.

Every single one of the 8 adult snails had its aperture covered with a thin membrane-like layer of dried slime and was partially buried in soil with its umbilicus up, which is the preferred position of snails hibernating in soil (I don't know why).

I decided that it was a good idea to mark the snails* so that I can check up on them throughout the year. Come to think of it, I should go back there tomorrow and look for some juveniles to mark. That way I can get an idea of how long they live. The beginnings of a little project? Maybe.

Here are the marked snails before I turned them over and placed them in their little depressions in soil under the plywood.

DormantTriodopsis2

*Behind their lips with red ink from a Staedtler Lumocolor pen that is, according to its labeling, lightfast and waterproof. We shall see.

10 comments:

Kevin Z said...

Is that the equivalent to smearing shaving cream on the first frat boy to pass out at the party?

lol, I love reading your posts. Just out prancing around in the forest, deciding to an experiment, happens to carry a marking pen with him.

AYDIN ÖRSTAN said...

Well, I had the marking pen with me, because I went out to mark some other snails, but then I came upon these guys.

Megan said...

Those snails are clever - clustering under a board on your path because they know how to get you to start an experiment!

pascal said...

That sounds interesting. I'd love to look at the biology of woodland snails compared to boreal/subarctic snails sometime. Let me know what you find out.

O. B. Sirius said...

Will the first one to wake up think the others are all wearing lipstick? And will that lead to gender confusion in the snail world?
ZoAnn

AYDIN ÖRSTAN said...

Zo: That's part of the experiment.

Kevin Z said...

gender confusion? aren't these snails hermaphrodites?

AYDIN ÖRSTAN said...

Yes, of course.

O. B. Sirius said...

I guess a gender-confused hermaphrodite snail must think he/she is straight.
ZoAnn

Beth said...

My guess is that they will eat the paint - at least in the lab they did when I've tried to mark them that way. Although it is winter...