The 74th Annual Meeting of the American Malacological Society will be next week at the Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois.
The program and abstracts are available here. I will be presenting the results of the work I have been doing with the land snail Oxyloma retusa.
I want to get my PowerPoint presentation ready by Tuesday evening. After Tuesday, I am not going to look at the slides or think about what I am going to talk about until I am up there on the stage. I have done it this way for my last 3-4 presentations and it has worked surprisingly well. I think the presentation ends up being more spontaneous.
Anyway, I thought I'd throw in a couple of slides to show my method of monitoring the matings of snails on a glass plate—talk about "cutting edge" science.
A pair of Oxyloma retusa mating on a glass plate held by an ordinary lab clamp.
The advantage of having the snails on a rotatable glass plate is that they can be examined from different angles. Once the snail on the bottom attaches its foot to the glass, the pair becomes quite secure; the plate can even be turned upside down. I do place a cup underneath just in case they fall, though.
I keep the snails in separate containers for a day or two and then bring them together on a glass plate. If one snail gets interested in another one, it starts going thru the pre-mating ritual, which simply consists of climbing and circling the shell of the other snail. If the bottom snail is responsive, they start mating; otherwise they separate. A picture showing how I timed mating snails was in this post. I have also included that picture in my presentation.