By Ruth D’Alessandro, The Wildlife Gardener It’s not often The Wildlife Gardener finds something that neither she nor The Ranger can identify. So we are sending out an NOS (Name Our Snail) request to Naturenet readers. While out walking near a mill pond I spotted several of these snails crawling all over cow parsley:
They are very different from the usual Grove snails (Cepaea nemoralis) found on chalk downland:
The largest of these unusual snails was about 2.5cms, the one pictured about 1 cm. At first glance I thought they were pond snails far from home (relatively), but those have triangular fleshy horns peeping out from under the shell. The heads and bodies of the mystery snails are very much those of a terrestrial snail. The nearest matching snail I could find on Google was a Galapagos land snail. If so, they are a bit lost. Perhaps a couple of them fell out of Charles Darwin‘s pocket in nearby Downe, and descendants arrived here in Surrey 170 years later. The Ranger, no snail expert, suggested tentatively Cochlicopa species, although I think they have too much of a ‘turret’. So, we are very intrigued to find out what they are. An undiscovered species? Helix naturenetii? Readers, can you help us? See follow-up for a very well-informed answer!