30 March 2009

Anguispira fergusoni after the winter

I have written about the 5 dormant Anguispira fergusoni, I started monitoring in November of last year (this post and this post). The purpose was to see if the snails would hibernate throughout the winter and when they would become active again. My last trip to check up on them was in early February when I found them all still sleeping buried in soil. I had wanted to go back in the middle of March, but it was either still too cold or I didn't have a chance. Yesterday, after 2 days of elevated temperatures and rain, I finally went back to the spot.

My little yellow flags were still standing and the spots where the snails had been buried looked undisturbed just like I had left them in February, but there were no buried snails to be found.

Although I don't know what happened to the snails, it is safe to conclude that the snails survived the winter and became active, perhaps recently; if any had died during the winter, I would have found its shell.

I did find 2 live Anguispira fergusoni, one among the roots of the tree and another one on the trunk, about 2 m above the ground. But because I hadn't marked the dormant snails, I had no way of knowing if they belonged to my group of 5.


If I get a chance to repeat this study this fall, I have to remember to measure and mark the snails' shells.

No comments: