Snake vs Snail

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by BaronsMom, May 24, 2005.

  1. BaronsMom

    BaronsMom Well-Known Member

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    I have a small goldfish pond which is visited by garter snakes who seem to think snacking on my goldfish is an excellent idea. We routinely catch the snakes by hand, put them in a minnow bucket and take them to a nearby lake.

    When the weather warms up, I also put several large snails in the pond for the summer. Each snail is a bit bigger than a plum.

    Today when I came home to enjoy the pond, I found a two foot long garter snake with its head stuck inside a shell. The snail had clamped down on the snake's head with its protective cover (on its foot) and the snake suffocated.

    We tried to rescue the snake (can't believe I was doing that!) and couldn't get the snail to open up without hurting the snail.

    I put a photo on a web site so you can view it

    http://lancaster.unl.edu/enviro/pest/feature.htm (scroll down just a bit - it is in a blue box)
     
  2. boxwoods

    boxwoods Well-Known Member

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    that's a cool picture. Hard to believe :)
     

  3. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    Neat pic. Can you tell me what species of snail that is? Is it native to your location?
     
  4. cabe

    cabe Well-Known Member

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    That is awesome! :D I think turn around is fair play, and maybe the other snakes out there will think twice.Marty.
     
  5. BaronsMom

    BaronsMom Well-Known Member

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    The snail is not native to Nebraska. I have four that I purchased for my indoor fish tank. I move them outside to the goldfish pond in the summer and then have to bring them back inside before the water gets cold in fall.

    I know it isn't an apple snail, but one of the snails they sell at pet stores as "mystery snails". Apple snails are pretty expensive. I'm sure I didn't pay more than $1.50 for each of these :)

    The snails are supposed to get about 1.5 inches in diameter. They must be living well because they are much larger - about double the size. That particular snail is at least two years old. I've only managed to retrieve a few babies each year to give to friends with indoor fish tanks - reproduction is slow and not many make it. Those that I can't find in the fall to bring inside, die from the harsh winter.

    Love them in the fish tank...fascinating creatures to watch and surprisingly active.
     
  6. Hermit

    Hermit Active Member

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    Thanks for the post and the picture! I have a new-found respect for snails!
     
  7. BaronsMom

    BaronsMom Well-Known Member

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    In case you try to view the photo of the snail/snake right now, the site is down...heh. :rolleyes: I'll post when it is back up again.

    I'll blame it on the Homesteaders and tell my colleagues what a great group you are. I know the folks on the Poultry Forum hit the University's EGG Cam site pretty hard and slowed it down - we made some adjustments to keep things running.

    Honestly, glad to see such active participation from a forum!
     
  8. BaronsMom

    BaronsMom Well-Known Member

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  9. roughingit

    roughingit knitwit

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    Mystery snails actually get about the size of an apple and apple snails get about the size of a grapefruit! Real mystery seems to be in the nameing lol. That trapdoor on the snail's foor is called an operculum. Didn't realize they were that strong though!
     
  10. mommymushbrain

    mommymushbrain Well-Known Member

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    That is so cool.

    I am so getting me some snails.

    :haha:
     
  11. BaronsMom

    BaronsMom Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the lesson! Always learning...or maybe remembering what I learned long ago and forgot (operculum - dang! I remember that now - but would never have if you hadn't mentioned it...ah the joys of nearing 50!)

    If you are interested, just like the apple snails, the mystery snails lay beautiful bright pink clusters of eggs. More than once I've caught them on the side of a rock or plant, laying eggs - mostly at night. Wonderful!