06 April 2008

Egg of Megalobulimus ovatus

Back in March we had the Mid-Atlantic Malacologists meeting at the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Wilmington, Delaware. During the lunch break and for about an hour after the meeting I was able to work in the mollusk collection.

While looking at a drawer full of specimens of the land snail family Megalobulimidae, I noticed a glass vial with a peculiar object in it.


The museum label identified it as an egg of Megalobulimus ovatus. It measured 34.5 mm by 18.1 mm. When I shook it gently, I could hear something rattling inside.


I had never seen such an elongated snail egg before. In fact, I had thought that all eggs were more or less spherical. But an Internet search found photos of similar looking eggs attributed to megalobulimid species (example).

The snail that laid that egg must have been rather large. I am not familiar with the Megalobulimidae, but most species in the family appear to be able to grow quite large. Here is one example.


This one was identified as Strophocheilus popelairianus from Ecuador, but I can't vouch for the correctness of that identification.


Alex said...

But, does it make a good omelette?


Even if it did, you'd need quite a number of them to get a decent-sized omelette. And it would be crunchy!

Snail said...

Good grief! I'd read that the eggs were big but that is huge. Do you know how many are laid at a time?


No, I don't know what the clutch size is.

victor said...

Hi, i'm a peruvian junior researcher, since 4 years i've studied this Family and let me tell you that this family have a very difficult taxonomy and the picture that is in your blog is M. popelairianus, probably M. popelairianus var. Thammianus. the best references that you may have is J. Beaqueart 1948.

Victor Borda
Museo de Historia Natural
Universidad San Marcos