24 August 2011

Cepaea nemoralis at Bishop's Mills

Yesterday on our way to Ottawa we stopped at the village of Bishop's Mills and paid a visit to our naturalist friend Fred Schueler. Our sojourn culminated with a search for the snail Cepaea nemoralis. Our expedition was brief, though, and barely extended beyond the lily patch across the road from Fred's house.

We did find several of our favorite snails on the soil under the lily leaves and among the grass.

How these snails, which are native to Europe, came to be in Bishop's Mills is a question we will leave unanswered for the time being.


Fred Schueler said...

Well, there's no need to be shy about it, since a full account has been published in American Conchologist. After some years of observing that all the C. nemoralis we saw in eastern Ontario and around Guelph and Toronto were five-banded, we surmised that natural selection was favouring this colour morph, and when we went SW of where we'd seen Cepaea before, to London, Ontario, in 1981, and found a population with lots of mid-banded and unbanded snails, we figured that since Cepaea would eventually occupy all of Ontario, we might as well introduce these less-banded ones here, and watch natural selection prune away the less banded ones, or not. As you've seen, the "not" alternative is the one that prevailed.

thepowmill said...

It truly is a small world . You are just down the road from my house.Glad that you made it into Eastern Ontario a ways .Hope you find some specimens now that the drought is done . ...or confirmation of natural selection.

Miss Adventure said...

Hi, got a favour to ask of you. Please could you look at the snaps on this link, http://britishwildlflorandfauna.blogspot.com/2011/08/loving-leopard-slugs.html and confirm whether or not they're left over slime from mating leopard slugs.
I live in Gloucestershire UK. Love your blog, it makes me chuckle.

Miss Adventure said...

Many thanks for your comment on the probable slug slime. It's not something I've come across before, plus this is the only garden with leopard slugs that I've found in this area. Now you've given me food for thought ....... :)