28 October 2008

A snail of cities: Eobania vermiculata

One of the most common land snails one encounters in urban areas of western Turkey is Eobania vermiculata, a relatively large, edible species. Presumably, the specific name refers to the vermiculated shell.


It is probably not native to Turkey, but originates from another Mediterranean country. It is so widespread now—as a result of intentional and unintentional introductions by humans—that it is difficult to determine its original range.

In Turkey, Eobania vermiculata is often found with another edible alien, Helix aspersa (or Cantareus aspersus, etc.). One may often see them stuck right next to each other on walls. Obviously, each species has a high tolerance for the other one.

The snail on top is Cantareus aspersus and the one below is Eobania vermiculata. Photo by Deniz.

To the uninitiated, the 2 species may be difficult to tell apart. Here are some pointers to help distinguish them.

Here is a subadult Eobania vermiculata that hasn't yet formed the reflected lip of adult shells.



Xtreme English said...

i was thrilled to find your blog, which i found while looking on answers.com for reasons why snails gather on rocks. the other day, my oldest daughter took some photos of snails gathered together on a stone wall facing the sea in western scotland. i've never seen anything like that. her blog is www.whitelees.blogspot.com, and the snail photos occur in the post "lunch break for scottish sales reps." i'm hoping you'll have some idea what the snails are up to other than huddling together for warmth....kind regards, xtreme english

Dachs said...

Dear Aydin,
In July this year I found three living individuals and two fresh shells of the snail Eobania vermiculata in the suburb of Köln, NW Germany(!) within a malacological survey of large European cities. Eobania coexists with a numerous population of Candidula intersecta and snail Monacha cartusiana in this site.
Regards, Tom Cejka