12 June 2009

Cepaea nemoralis and its epiphragm

I have been keeping 2 live Cepaea nemoralis. I haven't bothered to look up how to best maintain them in captivity; I just put them in a plastic box with some wet paper towels and carrot skins and pieces of lettuce for food. There are several piles of fecal strings in the container, indicating that they are eating stuff, including the paper towel.

However, I often see them stuck on the underside of the lid as if they have a requirement to become dormant frequently. Last week I kept them in a dry container for a couple of days. When I examined them again yeaterday, the smaller one had sealed its aperture with an epiphragm.

You can see the pneumostome (breathing hole) of the of the snail on the right.

I returned them to their regular container and sprayed them with water. Earlier today the smaller snail had come out of its shell. Tonight they are both stuck on the underside of the lid again.


Anonymous said...

HI Aydin,

With your Cepaea nemoralis, brown paper towel or brown wrapping paper is much better to use than white paper towels. The white paper contains bleach residue, and therefore it isn't so healthy for the snails to eat.

I kept a few live ones of that species at the MCZ for a year and a half or so. When we had the annual open day, little kids were delighted to have the snails crawl on them.

Talking about the general public, this afternoon I'm off to work "Identification Day" at the AMNH. I volunteered to do it, as they had no-one else available to cover mollusks. I will be on the same table as Lou Sorkin, the bed bug expert. He'll get plenty of interest for sure!


Susan J. Hewitt

Bruce Berman said...

If you elevate the humidity in the container they will stay active. A quick bath will wake them up!

Mine have lived for about a year.


Laura Lee said...

How interesting and wonderful that I have stumbled upon your blog. I have been keeping two Cepaea nemoralis snails since March. My husband found them in the Bronx, NY, and I keep them in a little ventilated plastic tank, with dirt, rocks, an overturned pot to "sleep" in, and a food dish along with a cuttle bone. They love to eat Romaine lettuce, strawberries, spinach, carrots, and the cuttle bone occasionally for calcium. I had the opportunity to see them mate, and one has since laid eggs which have hatched, so now I'm raising about 30 or so babies. I like to watch them and "hear" them "crunching" on their food.